Addiction To Running: Running Is Never Enough

Running addiction: running is never enough

Playing sports brings with it many benefits : better health, a better physical appearance and a range of positive emotions. Can it even hurt? Yes, if from a life-bearing element it becomes an obsession, if it is never enough and we always want more. An example is the addiction to running.

When we start playing sports, it takes time and effort to get used to. Making a sporting activity part of our routine requires a certain amount of self-control and willpower. Once the habit is established, however, and almost without realizing it, it often ends up becoming an essential part of our life. Let’s see how we go from the pleasure of running to addiction to running .

The benefits of running

Playing sports contributes to a better overall health.  On the one hand, it helps prevent cardiovascular and other chronic diseases and reduces the risk of premature death. On the other hand, it improves mood and reinforces positive emotions. It also affects the quality of sleep.

What are the benefits of running instead?

Running in the city

The euphoria of the runner or runner’s high h is a phenomenon that has aroused a lot of interest.  It is a neurobiological reward that appears after traveling a long distance. It improves mood, produces well-being and reduces pain.

Why can running be addictive?

So what is special about running so that a behavior that is in itself healthy becomes addictive and, therefore, negative? In reality, running brings into play a series of physiological, psychological and sociocultural factors that contribute to the phenomenon of addiction.

On a physiological level, when we run, the brain’s endogenous opioid system is activated. Opioid substances generated by our body act in it, creating an analgesic effect and an increase in emotional well-being.

On a psychological level, the factors that influence this process depend on the improvement of the mental state. Practicing running on a regular basis leads to an increase in self-esteem, self-confidence and the strengthening of social relationships.

Finally, socio-cultural factors linked to the search for a body image according to current canons also play an important role. In conclusion, the danger is that running becomes the tool to obtain a large number of essential benefits.

When does running addiction appear?

In principle, the habit of running is positive. With regular and balanced practice, you can enjoy all the benefits of running.

Addiction to running occurs when you cross the line that separates pleasure from obligation; when it becomes an obsession that conditions our routine. In short, we lose control over our behavior, increasing the chances of suffering from injuries and various ailments.

Man running in the woods

Not only that, since it is an addiction, our behavior is altered. We become more anxious and irascible and that  other areas of daily life, previously important, are relegated to the background. In some cases, when the main goal becomes running, social, family and work life is compromised.

Images courtesy of Seth Macey, Steven Lelham, and Emma Simpson .

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