Last year I had a roommate who obsessively exercised, and I would consider her an exercise addict. Everyday she woke up at 6 am and went to the gym for 1-2 hours. I thought she was crazy for waking up so early to go to the gym. I went one time with her and she had to force me to wake up. She was a lot more motivated than me! Her motivation was the increase in mood and endorphins after she exercised. She kept telling that it felt great after finishing an exercise routine. After weeks of asking me to go with her, I finally gave in.
My motivation the night before was very high. I went to bed early, since I need a certain amount of sleep. When my alarm went off at 5 in the morning, I jus wanted to snooze. My motivation plummeted, until my roommate pured cold water all over me. Then I started to shiver and that motivated to get up and get out of my wet bed and clothes, a result of the negative feedback system.
When I went with her, we jogged for about 15 minutes to the gym (we lived in the apartments on campus). I was already tired by the time we got to the gym; my roommate was not. She actually had more energy, which I now see was a result of tolerance. Then she immediately went to the treadmill for 30 minutes, while I rested for about 15 minutes before going on the treadmill. Then she started lifting weights and did pushups/situps, which lasted for about 30 minutes. She used 15 lb weights, while I used 5 lb weights, and she did twice as many repitions. Finally I was ready to go, but she wanted to go on the elliptical. I left without her, walking back. About 45 mintues aftre I returned to the apartment, she returned. She had so much energy and felt great. I, on the other hand was exhausted.
She told me that she did this routine every day, and sometimes added in swimming and/or cycling. When she was not able to exercise for atleadt 2 hours a day, she would become cranky, have a headache, and be anxious the whole day. If she was in that kind of mood, I knew she was not ablee to get to the gym.
What is "exercise addiction"?