Scientists explain that particular changes in a human brain develop an urge while doing sports. It does not actually matter what genre of exercise an individual involves in including swimming, cross-country running, or other exercises in the gym, the theme is that the human brain releases mood-modulating substances, for instance beta-endorphin (Davis, 2000). This molecule released in the brain serves as the responsible hormone causing and developing a euphoria that always comes after exercising (Adams, 1997, 1998; Brewer, 1994; Griffiths, 1996). Scientists also argue that serotonin is another substance that leads to exercise addiction when released excessively in the human body (Griffiths, 1996). The chemical is released in the brain helping the transmission of varying impulses across neurons. The substances carry the responsibility for anxiety; sleep control and mood elevations that are why people end up exercising more to prevent the release of this hormone in large amounts (Adams, 1997).
In future practice, there is a need to have a better understanding of exercise addiction and enhancement of understanding the broad concept (Adams, 1997, 1998; Brewer, 1994; Griffiths, 1996). Future studies need to develop a basis for theoretical models; they also have to employ appropriate research designs and facilitate the provision of operational definitions of exercise addiction (Szabo, 1998). This is ideal in understand the perpetuating and precipitating factors associated with exercise addiction, as well incorporating effective control regimens (Adams, 1998).
Exercise addiction must be conceptualized as a literally multidimensional construct. There is also a need to involve research examining the criteria that apply most to exercise addiction (Adams, 1997, 1998; Brewer, 1994; Griffiths, 1996). In this case, strong theoretical and conceptual frameworks should be a guide to the development of exercise addiction measures as well as study the hypotheses appropriately to help describe theories of exercise addiction thoroughly (Adams, 1998). For instance, General Addiction theory predicts that persons with abnormal arousal states and those who respond to inferiority and rejection feelings by flight into fantasy and denial have a higher probability of developing addiction (Adams, 1997, 1998; Brewer, 1994; Griffiths, 1996). The theory has been in application in the field of drinking, gambling, and eating addictions yet there is not enough information to apply it in exercise addiction (Griffiths, 1996).
There should also be complete avoidance of subjective self-reports on routine exercise status and facilitate adoption of more objective measures involved in exercise behavior for instance percentage body fat, VO2 max among others (Szabo, 1998). An overview of the current exercise addiction research reveals that there are exceedingly few studies using objective measures especially those of physical activity of which this should develop as the main case (Adams, 1997).
There is also need to establish prevalence rates of exercise addiction in the many researches done, the same case as with other addictions for instance drugs or alcohol. Having been in the list of among 40 activities potentially addictive to human beings, prevalence studies on exercise addiction are necessary (Griffiths, 1996). This way, there would be a proper approach to determine the scope, extent, and existence of the exercise addiction problem to be able to learn how to manage the situation (Adams, 1997, 1998; Brewer, 1994; Griffiths, 1996). Studies examining the personality characteristics including narcissism, perfectionism and obsessive-compulsiveness of exercise addiction are also of instantaneous requirement to be able to handle the situation and narrow the knowledge gap existing in the situation (Adams, 1998).
There is much known regarding the health benefits of exercise, but there is a knowledge gap on the effects of excessive routine exercise on the physical and psychological well-being in humans (Adams, 1997, 1998; Brewer, 1994; Griffiths, 1996). The knowledge on exercise addiction is still in its infancy. Up to this far, there are no destined criteria assigned to determine “how much exercise is too much” and lack of such establishments makes the contention of addiction a controversial phenomenon (Thompson, 1991; Szabo, 1995, 1998). Because design flaws infuse many studies, research results examining exercise addiction should develop cautious and keen interpretation to avoid making overly unsubstantiated and enthusiastic claims (Adams, 1997, 1998; Brewer, 1994; Griffiths, 1996). Overall, the study of exercise addiction remains an equally overriding issue. Combining the aforementioned research recommendations with a precise future research assessment should result in perfectly and well-designed studies contributing to a full understanding of exercise addiction as a concept. It is crucial to note hat the issues discussed in this research will serve as a catalyst and enhance better design, measurement, and analysis of exercise addiction research in the future (Adams, 1997, 1998; Brewer, 1994; Griffiths, 1996).
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