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Over-exercising: Worked Up over Working Out?

HOUSTON, Tex.

The slim, trim American schedules a workout at least three times a week, and preferably even more often. Exercise is healthy. It's wise. It could even make you wealthy.

But could working out be harmful? Yes, according to Theresa Fassihi, a psychologist at the Menninger Clinic, who warns that it's healthy to "exercise because you enjoy it, it feels good, makes you feel fit. But if you exercise because you want to burn off the calories you just ate, if you can't miss a workout without feeling guilty or preoccupied, anxious, we see that as a concern."

The problem is often tangled up with an eating disorder: When the goal is to be scarecrow-thin (women) or hulky-bulky (men), exercise can be an addiction, not a healthy choice. "There have been stories of people who end up in wheelchairs, who are so obsessed and can't stop despite their injuries," Fassihi says.

For more:

The Why Files: The Science Behind the News

Publisher: Penguin

Publication date: Apr. 28, 2009

Price: $15.00

Purchase at:

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Penguin Media/Publicity Contacts:

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Yen.Cheong@us.penguingroup.com

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Abigail.Dalton@us.penguingroup.com


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