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07 Apr 2006

Lack of exercise - withdrawal symptoms
I have been making great progress in a run/walk programme, and entered the 12th week of training, when I contracted a flu virus earlier this week and was put off exercise by my doctor. Although I felt better within two days, I was told to wait at least a week before taking up the training again. It has been 5 days now since I exercised. I'm highly irritable, yap at my children for nothing, and don't sleep too well. Without being melodramatic about it, is it possible that I actually have withdrawal symptoms from lack of exercise?
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Expert
FitnessDoc
fitnessdoc

01 Jan 0001

Hi Susan

Absolutely, it happens all the time. Quite whether there is a physical reason for it, I'm not as sure. Some people say that when you exercise, your body releases endorphins (true), which can cause a form of addiction, much like that of nicotine etc. This probably has quite a bit of truth to it. APart from this, simply getting out of the house, away from your normal routine, the children, and having some time to yourself. But I see all these factors as good things, because they are a sign that exercise is something that you enjoy and value. Far worse is if you did not feel like exercise at all.

However, in your current situation, I suppose this does not help you, because you still can't train! If you feel better though, then I do think that you should consider going out and doing easy walks, at least to get the routine back, even if it's not the normal programme. And by the time you read this, seeing as I am quite far behind the numbers as a result of our recent technical problems, you should be back onto the programme. I would suggest that when you start off, go back to week number 10, just so that you don't launch in above your capacity.

Good luck
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