Exercise is recognised as being important for physical and psychological well being. It is recommended that everyone takes part in exercise for at least 30 minutes three times a week.

Many people exercise much more frequently than that and their activity levels are not harmful. They may be working towards sport or aerobic goals and gain a high degree of satisfaction from their exercise.

How can you tell when someone is over-exercising?

“My daughter has always been more sporty and active than her friends. She goes to the gym every day for two hours – should I be worried?“

A person who is over-exercising in a harmful way may show some or all of the following signs:

  • They exercise regardless of all consequences – missing social activities or important school, college or work commitments.
  • They have an emotional attachment to exercise and become extremely anxious if they miss an exercise session.
  • The goal of exercise is to lose weight and feel worthwhile, rather than for athletic goals, enjoyment or social interaction.
  • Their schedule is rigid and if they miss one exercise session, they will do twice the amount next time.
  • They will exercise even if they are injured.
  • They will exercise alone.

What are the consequences of over-exercising?

People who regularly over-exercise are at risk of the following physical side-effects and complications:

  • Degenerative arthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Stress fractures
  • Fatigue
  • Breakdown of muscle mass
  • Dehydration
  • Cardiovascular complications

There are also a number of social side-effects of over-exercising as the problem becomes a dominant influence in the sufferer’s life:

  • Deterioration of social relationships
  • Failure or difficulties at school, college and work due to the demands of exercise regime
  • Social isolation
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Poor self-esteem and self-image

Outpatient clinic

We have an outpatient clinic for adults as well as young people, treating eating disorders including bulimia and binge eating disorder.

Our outpatients’ clinic remains open, including to new requests for advice and support. We are following the Department of Health and Public Health England Coronavirus guidelines and all our consultations are being conducted by video conference or telephone. You are welcome to contact us to discuss your needs. Please be assured, we continue to support and offer outpatient programmes via digital and telephone communications.

Find out more about our outpatient clinic

Eating disorders help: our services in London and York

Newbridge House is part of the Schoen Clinic group, 26 high quality hospitals and services across Germany and the UK. Schoen Clinic Chelsea provides private outpatient and day treatment for adults, adolescents and children with eating disorders, anxiety and depression. You can self-refer to our service in Chelsea. Additionally, Schoen Clinic York is an adult inpatient service for adults with eating disorders and complex personality disorders.