Can kids get addicted to exercise?

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Can kids get addicted to exercise?

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Exercise addiction actually is very rare but is something that all parents and people worry about. But if you're going to choose an addiction, this is perhaps the best one. In fact, we use exercise in addictive patients to help switch their addiction from a drug or from an activity that's helpful to exercise really can help. But it is very infrequent that children become addicted to exercise. Now specifically with girls and teenagers, you have to worry about their exercising over much that feeds their anorexic tendencies, and then it becomes trouble. Or with guys who are worried about their body image who are lifting weights all the time, then you worry about that. But most of the time, I would encourage parents to encourage their children to exercise and to do it within a certain range. But there are many children now that are doing triathlons, there are many adolescents who are into it. I can't see any problem with that, especially if it becomes a part of unbalanced life.

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John Ratey, MD

Psychiatrist & Author

John J Ratey, MD, is an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Research Synthesizer, Speaker, and Author, as well a Clinical Psychiatrist maintaining a private practice in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He has lectured and published 60 peer reviewed articles on the topics of Aggression, Autism, ADHD, and other issues in neuropsychiatry.

Dr. Ratey has authored A Users Guide to the Brain and co-authored Shadow Syndromes  with Catherine Johnson, PhD. From 1994 to 2005 he co-authored Driven to DistractionAnswers to Distraction and Delivered from Distraction with Edward Hallowell, MD. Additionally, he has edited several books including The Neuropsychiatry of Personality Disorders. Most recently, Dr. Ratey has penned, Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain published by Little Brown. In Spark, Dr. Ratey guides the reader to an understanding of neurobiology and inspires the reader to reach for their potential, and embrace exercise that is crucial for the brain and body to operate at peak performance.

Spark is fueling a movement to re-engineer school practices and medical recommendations to establish curriculum, lifestyles and corporate practices based on scientific principles. Providing the scientific foundation and research data, Dr. Ratey has been drafted into the groundswell of those whose mission it is to revitalize schools, combat the obesity crisis, stave off the encroaching epidemic of Sedentarism, by returning to evolutionary principles of physical exercise and proper diet thereby combating syndrome X, the underlying causation of much chronic disease.

Each year since 1995, Dr. Ratey has been selected by his peers as one of the Best Doctors in America. In his dedication to changing the world, Dr. Ratey has founded The Ratey Institute whose mission is to broadcast life changing science and establish the best practice policies first in our school and then other organizations to reclaim human health.

Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, released in 2008, is the culmination of years of experience with the brain body connection, new research data, and the synthesis of biological sciences. Spark is revolutionizing how we see the human species. A call to return to our evolutionary roots; to get in sync with our metabolic design honed through eons of survival to optimize mental and physical health. 

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