Confessions of a running addict
t appears I'm in denial. There I was, smug at how much running I do, gloating that Government diktats on healthy living don't apply to me. But apparently I'm no better than a heroin addict. Scientists reported last week that "excessive running shares similarities with drug-taking behaviour".
One expects this kind of thing about extreme sports, whose devotees relish the association of being called "adrenalin junkies". But the researchers were talking about running, the same activity encouraged by virtually everyone in the health industry.
They found that too much of it sparks a reaction in the brain that is similar to heroin – and it is just as addictive. It gets worse. Sudden withdrawal can lead to trembling, writhing and teeth chattering.
Writing in the medical journal Behavioural Neuroscience, the researchers found that a desire to get off the sofa and shed a few pounds can quickly become as compulsive as Class A narcotics. So mild exercise like jogging can develop into a serious triathlon or marathon habit. "Although exercise is good for your health, extreme exercise may be physically addictive," they warned.
Having been addicted myself many years ago this is one story I can meld with. Unfortunatly I can now only take a limited part of the running drug as my legs are not what they used to be and age as made me pretty lazy.
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Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada