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Table 1 Proposed definition for compulsive exercise

From: Compulsive exercise in eating disorders: proposal for a definition and a clinical assessment

Compulsive exercise
A. Compulsive exercise as defined by (1) and (2):
1) Excessive exercise that the patient feels driven to perform in response to an obsession or according to rules that must be applied rigidly.
2) The exercise is aimed at preventing some dreaded consequence or at preventing or reducing distress, often based on distorted beliefs about exercise.
B. The compulsive exercise is time-consuming (takes more than 1 hour a day), significantly interferes with the person’s daily routine, occupational functioning or social relationships or is continued despite medical injury, illness, or lack of enjoyment.
C. At some point during the course of the disorder the patient has recognized that the compulsive exercising is excessive or unreasonable.
Criteria A. + B. are considered obligatory, criterion C. is optional.