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*ALERT* “Workout Rage” is on the rise at gyms across America. Listen up, gents, this is important!

A little sweat never hurt anyone, right? We all hit the gym hard and worked up a healthy lather during that post-workout shower. But according to a recent study from the journal of Psychological Science, the “workout high” is real. And although it’s not exactly like a heroin rush or a caffeine jolt, endorphins released during exercise can alter your mood and make you feel better about yourself.

The problem is that this feeling of euphoria doesn’t last long … which means you may be tempted to work out more and more, with less and less of a break in between. And while the occasional workout is excellent for your health, compulsive exercise can lead to something called “exercise dependence,” which can damage relationships, wreak havoc on your social life, and put you into an early grave (18).

Exercise dependence is a severe problem that leads to compulsive exercise and cut-throat competition in the gym. This type of behavior is part of a bigger problem called “workout rage,” which has grown exponentially over the last several years. If you’re looking for an outlet to vent your anger, please don’t take it out on your fellow gym rats. Here are seven things you can do to prevent workout rage from happening in the first place:

  1. Remember, you’re working out for YOU and no one else. Workout partners and group classes may seem like a good idea at first, but don’t bite off more than you can chew — it’ll only lead to frustration. Allow yourself time to recover between sessions, and don’t feel bad about taking a day off now and then.
  2. Watch your intensity levels, especially when lifting weights. Keep in mind that lifting hefty weight is not a competition — it’s a workout! No one likes a guy who constantly over-trains and doesn’t know when to call it quits (or blow his load, if you get my drift).
  3. Avoid workouts that involve repetitive motions like running on a treadmill or biking on a stationary bike. Overuse injuries are the number one cause of pain at the gym, so switch things up every once in a while! Please stop using the services of that smokin’ hot trainer who makes you feel like your workout isn’t complete unless she’s hocking you to do one more rep.
  4. Avoid overtraining by listening to your body. If you push yourself too hard, you could be putting yourself at risk for injury or other health problems. “Workout rage” is often caused by fatigue and an overall feeling of malaise.
  5. Keep your eye on the prize! The point of working out isn’t to have a bigger chest or washboard abs; it’s to reduce your risk of disease, boost your energy levels, and feel good about yourself…not to mention, look great naked.
    Never let the gym become your primary source of self-esteem.
  6. Engage in calming activities outside of the gym to reduce stress. Always keep in mind that you’re doing this for yourself, not to get revenge on anyone else! If you find yourself getting angry at other people while at the gym (including significant others who force you to go), take a deep breath and think about all of the positive things you have going on in your life.

Keep your eye on the prize!

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