joggerWell, there goes feeling virtuous for making it to the gym 3 times a week: Apparently the latest fitness trend in NYC is working out 2 or 3 times a day. 3 times a day! (And supposedly these uber-toned types also manage to hold down full-time jobs!)

Most of them are women who belong to very, very pricey "boutique" gyms (ballpark: $1,000 monthly fee) where personal trainer-level push is part of the pricetag. But is going to the gym 3 times a day ... healthy? Some repeat visitors don't seem sure:

"Everyone’s always just trying to look better and better ... some people think it’s crazy. ... But you see so many other people doing it, you don’t feel crazy.”

Well ... maybe the word "crazy" is a bit strong ... but I wouldn't call it "normal."

Perhaps "obsessive" is a better word. And even "positive" obsessions have the potential to turn into potentially negative, addictive behavior:

Exercise addicts typically "develop an unhealthy relationship with exercise as a means of avoidance as well as looking for the positive endorphin rush from working out," putting themselves at risk for "serious overuse injuries, hormone imbalances, and even permanent bone damage" in the process.

Of course, since exercise in general is a good thing, it can be tricky to figure out where the line is and when you've crossed it.

Here are a few things to watch out for ...

1. You make yourself work out even when you're in pain. I'm not talking about pushing through a cramp or a stitch -- I mean forcing yourself to exercise even though you're injured or sick because the thought of skipping a day scares the hell out of you.

2. Not exercising absolutely ruins your entire day. If missing your usual workouts makes you so anxious and upset you can't concentrate on anything else, that's a cause for concern.

3. You skip out on social events to accomodate your workout schedule. If you even have to ask yourself whether CrossFit is more or less of a priority than your sister's wedding ... well, that's not good.

4. Your fitness routine is more important than your personal relationships. Example? This quote from one of the 3-expensive-workouts-a-day women about why it's too "challenging" for her to date: “I would need to date somebody who understands my workout schedule ... hopefully they would have their own crazy workout schedule."

5. Your fitness routine is more important than your professional life. Typically, employers tend to be less-than-pleased when you ditch a staff meeting for spin class.

Do you ever wonder if you might be an exercise addict?

 

Image via Ed Yourdon/Flickr