Catering to the bodybuilding obsession without affecting your health

Have you ever taken a close look at the images of bodybuilders and been dumbfounded by all their bulges? They appear to have muscles we never knew existed. It’s no surprise that bodybuilding takes years of dedication and determination. Their diet is limited to foods that help them build muscles and their days consist of hours of exercise.

One would think that eating the right foods and regular exercise will keep a person healthy but recent studies have found otherwise. Bodybuilders have been taking muscles building way too far. Many of them suffer from a condition called muscle dysmorphia aka ‘Bigorexia’. Muscle dysmorphia or ‘bigorexia’, is the condition opposite to anorexia. In anorexia, the sufferer believes they aren’t thin enough and in ‘bigorexia’, the sufferer believes they are just not big enough. 

READ: BIGOREXIA – What Is Muscle Dysmorphia Disorder?

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Experts suggest that as of yet there aren’t too many people affected by bigorexia but the growing trend of building muscles will cause the numbers to increase unless there is awareness of the condition. According to the Body Dysmorphic Disorder Foundation, 10% of gym goers are suffering from muscle dysmorphia.

People with muscle dysmorphia become obsessed with getting bigger, to the point where it begins taking a toll on them mentally. They become preoccupied with their appearance, their self-esteem plummets and they experience severe anxiety and stress. There are individuals who have become so depressed that they begin having suicidal thoughts.

There isn’t a clear cause of bigorexia, experts believe that pressure on men to be fit and powerful is where it starts. They set goals for themselves upon achieving them, they set new ones. What makes the gym different for bodybuilders is that their goal is to get heavier. This obsession with getting heavier and being physically large causes them to turn to steroids and that’s where the associated risks increase.

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Steroids cause an imbalance in your hormones which causes breast development, shrunken testicles, erectile dysfunction along with many other side effects. In recent times, high-profile murders have occurred due to the use of anabolic steroids.

Even natural bodybuilding consists of changing your body’s strength and physique through exercise. There are definitely positive-effects of long-term bodybuilding. Body mass declines with age, after the age of 50% you drop around 1-1.5% of body mass every year. Once you reach the age of 70, you lose 3% of body mass every year. Bodybuilding will help you maintain body mass so you have more strength in your senior years.

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Bodybuilding, whether you use steroids or not it is also a risk to your cardiac health. Bodybuilding requires a lot of intense physical activity. Lifting more than half your weight can be dangerous for your heart, people who have torn their weight during heavy lifting have died

Although bodybuilding is an exhilarating sport you need to stick to a healthy weight because after a certain point it will affect your health negatively. The intense training can cause fatal injuries. Steroids may not seem like too big a problem until you find it affecting you both physically and mentally. You’re better off staying away from them because they cause more harm than good. To maintain the health of your heart, be sure to include aerobic activity in your workout.

Bear in mind that your body has limits, do not push it overboard. Anything done in excess is never good.

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