How to Know When “Healthy” Becomes Dangerous

Many athletes have a sensible fitness routine that helps them build endurance and strength so that they can perform at their very best. But, young athletes–college athletes in particular–are presumed to be at or nearing their peaks and may feel pressured to push themselves beyond their capabilities. This, paired with the desire to achieve the ideal body size and shape for their particular sport, places an unrealistic and often harmful standard on young athletes. Those who become fitness-obsessed can develop an addiction to exercise that leads to injuries and other health problems–in fact, exercise addiction often co-occurs with eating disorders.

It’s easy to explain away the early signs of an athlete in distress–to say that there’s nothing wrong with training hard and following a strict diet. The people closest to the athlete may even be impressed by what appears to be dedication, discipline and a strong work ethic, and unwittingly encourage the behaviors because of their own attitudes about food and weight.

This “12 Signs an Athlete is Closer to Injury and Illness than Health and Wellness” infographic will help coaches and parents recognize the signs that an athlete is struggling with exercise addiction and/or an eating disorder. It also includes eight tips on how to encourage a healthy attitude about sport and fitness.

Infographic link: https://eatingdisorder.care/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/elite-athlete-infographic.jpg

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