Can Exercise and Healthy Eating Be Bad for You?

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In short, the answer is a resounding yes. However, like most issues in life, it’s not really a black and white picture; there’s a lot of gray and a fine line between developing good habits that promote fitness and overall good health and a dark abode where self-obsession and distorted reality lurks. It’s understandable that the average thought process would lead us to believe that if exercising two days a week is good for us then exercising six out of seven days would be even better.

The reality is that not only is that not necessarily true, too much exercise can be extremely dangerous. As for eating, what could be wrong with wanting to make healthy choices to eat the healthiest foods available? On the surface, not only is this not a bad mindset, per se, it’s one we should all strive to possess, generally speaking, that is. On a deeper level, many people have become obsessed with eating healthy food to the point that medical science has identified a new eating disorder associated with this obsession.

With an ultimate goal of healthy living in mind, each person must first determine what that means in his or her life and how to access available resources to help achieve whatever goals are set. It’s logical to assume, based on current data resulting from decades of analysis and studies where eating, exercise and human health are concerned, that the average person trying to stay fit and live a healthy lifestyle will want to be physically active and steer clear of foods known to pose serious risks to human health. Beyond that, there is no one right way to do things. What works for one person might not be possible or desirable for another.

If you are determined to be physically fit and healthy as possible in 2018 and beyond, you’ll want to keep the following exercise and healthy eating dangers in mind:

  • Orthoexia nervosa is an eating disorder that comes from an unhealthy obsession with healthy eating. A person suffering from this disorder would rather not eat at all than risk consuming a food item that might be harmful. Most people are familiar with eating disorders that cause obsession over caloric intake and weight loss or gain, such as bulimia or anorexia nervosa. Orthoexia nervosa can be just as dangerous when sufferers use stricter eating habits, excessive fasting and exercise to punish themselves when they believe they have consumed a food that is unhealthy. A person may begin a food journey with good intentions motivated by a simple desire to avoid ill-health. Somewhere along the line, however, eating healthy food becomes tied up in self-esteem, self-worth and body image.
  • Rhabdomyolysis is a life-threatening, acute condition that is prompted by excessive exercise. A relative of mine nearly died from this condition last year, so I know it can (and does) occur. Basically, what happens is over-exercising causes so much stress on muscles that they begin to break down, disintegrating and passing myoglobin (a type of protein) into the bloodstream. As those proteins break down, kidney damage occurs (rather quickly) is not immediately treated, permanent kidney damage or death may result. Any type of crushing or damage to skeletal muscles can cause this condition. (People buried under rubble in earthquakes, those prone to severe seizures, marathon runners or someone who experiences sudden, extreme body temperatures may also suffer from Rhabdomyolysis.)
It’s definitely true that a sedentary lifestyle is very bad for your health. Remaining inactive for too long places you at risk for heart disease, diabetes and many other chronic health illnesses. There’s a difference, however, between trying to stay active, develop a healthy body and eat right, and becoming self-absorbed and obsessed with the way you look, how much weigh and even your physical health condition. The media and photo-shopped images that present pretend body images as real only add to the problem of body and health obsession in our society.

The bottom line is: Get some exercise and eat healthy foods but don’t let either control your life because if you do, it can compromise your health instead of helping you be the best ‘you’ you can be.

Writer Bio: Judy Dudich

Judy Dudich resides in the beautiful woods of Pennsylvania, where 24 acres of land and a home-office provide the perfect setting for her children’s home-education and her own homesteading and business ventures. Life is full of blessings (and challenges!) for Judy, as a wife, mother of 10 and Grammy to six. She is a published author, whose book, “I Surrender/A Study Guide for Women” continues to encourage and support others in Christian family lifestyles throughout the world. Judy has also previously worked in the online speaking circuit. Her passion for permaculture, re-purposing, foraging and organic gardening fills her days with learning and adventure that she loves to share.


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