Following the tragic death of British cyclist Mark Bentley, the serious dangers of exercise addiction have come into the limelight.
Bentley, a 54-year-old business journalist based in Frankfurt, Germany, cycling weekly In early September, he confessed to being obsessed with biking despite experiencing symptoms of heart problems.Three days later on September 10, he suffered a fatal cardiac arrest. was hit by
was interviewed CW In a feature article on the subject of exercise addiction, the Briton described having chest pain while riding and how her exercise routine got in the way of her other priorities in life.
Although exercise addiction is not officially recognized as a medical condition, it has been extensively studied. It is characterized by loss of control over exercise habits and dependence on exercise, which adversely affects health, social, and professional outcomes.
Studies consistently show that cyclists and runners are at greater risk of addiction than any other type of athlete.
Bentley has averaged over 2,000km of cycling per month, much of it indoors on turbo trainers. CW As part of the magazine’s “Let’s Talk About” series, it focuses on rarely-discussed health issues that affect cyclists.
“Both my girlfriend and my mom say I’m crazy,” Bentley said. CW“When I’m not on my bike, I’m talking about cycling and watching cycling. It never ends… I know it’s addictive, but it’s my hobby, so I’m not going to do it in my spare time.” At least this addiction isn’t, it’s not harmful, cycling is healthy.”
Am I an exercise addict?
Katherine Cullen (née Schreiber), co-author of the book The Truth About Exercise Addictionadvises cyclists worried about possible addiction.
“Ask yourself: Is my athletic behavior causing conflict in my social life?” she said. “Is it affecting my work/professional/school life? Is it affecting my health? Do I feel out of control of my behavior? ?Do I need more of it to feel okay?”
Other symptoms include giving up other activities or social engagements, feeling moodier or more anxious than usual, irritability, or excessive distress when you can’t exercise as much as you need to. If so, you may need help learning how to approach exercise in a healthier way.
He added: I decided to limit the intensity in zone 2, hoping that would solve it… [If I] If I have to stop training, I will lose the fitness I have worked so hard to build. ”
The Bentley family graciously consented to the CW feature story, stating: [him] As his death highlighted, we will always find comfort in our memories knowing that he had a positive impact on so many lives. “
The family launched a JustGiving page in Mark’s memory and all donations go to the Wheels for All charity. The Frankfurt-based Scuderia Rossetti Social Riding Club hosted the first Mark His Bentley Annual Memorial Ride in October.
If you are affected by an issue raised in this article, please contact Samaritan on 116 123 or contact the mental health charity Mind on 0300 123 3393.
The full length “Let’s Talk About: Exercise Addiction” appears in the December 1, 2022 print edition of Cycling Weekly. subscribe online (opens in new tab) Magazines delivered straight to your door each week.