Vigorexia in adolescents, what is behind their obsession with sports

Adolescence is a very complicated stage, many changes and uncertainty. This age is a very difficult situation for young people to cope with. The social pressure and the desire to fit can translate in the long run into the appearance of serious problems. Among them appears the vigorexia, the obsession with sports and exercise with the goal of looking good.

There is a big difference between exercising to stay in shape and obsessing about this issue. The vigorexia, like any other disorder, is a problem in the long run that alters the day to day of the adolescents. Understanding what happens to young people going through these problems, will allow parents to help them in the best way possible and coordinate with professionals in the event that therapy is necessary.


Difficult diagnosis

As explained by the Association for the Fight against Anorexia and Bulimia, the main problem of vigorexia is its diagnosis. It is difficult to differentiate between what is an exercise practice to stay in shape and an obsession with it. Physical activity is something recommended for young people, so we must attend to other signs:

- The young man leaves aside other activities in order to continue exercising.

- The adolescent manifests an altered image of his body. Although he is physically well, he still wants to improve.

- Alters his menu, along with the exercise the teenager avoids eating large quantities in order to improve his body.


- They prefer to spend more time in the gym than with their classmates.

This organism indicates that the origin of the vigorexia has similarities with the cases of anorexia or bulimia: the desire to look physically well and to fit between the established canons. Young people with low self-esteem who find in the exercise a response to their social isolation. Therefore, it is very important to attend to the behavior of the children to determine if they simply want to keep fit or have developed an obsession.

Treatment of vigorexia

If parents detect these behaviors In your children it is important to act before the vigorexia changes your life. The first step is to find help from a specialist to attend sessions where you can find the source of the problem and help solve it. On the other hand, parents must coordinate with the psychologist to start the treatment.


It is important for parents to understand their children's problem and not to pressure adolescents to change their attitude. It is not something they can master, but a disorder that deserves the attention of a specialist. It is also advisable to go to a nutritionist to prepare a menu adapted to the situation and the nutritional needs of the young person.

Little by little, parents should encourage their children to do other activities such as going to the movies with their friends. From the center of Psychology Lopez de Fez The following phases of treatment are indicated:

- Informative-formative phase. The intention is to document the adolescent about body image: what it is and how it is formed

- The next step is to treat the distortion of the body image giving the patient a realistic view of his body.

- The thoughts about the body will be discussed below. Here the shortcomings of the person believes will be addressed and analyzed to what extent they are unreal and harmful.

- In the fourth phase will be treated those negative feelings that may be cause of the pathology.

- Once the previous stage is finished, the patient's behaviors will be treated with respect to his own body, determining which ones can be harmful.

Damián Montero

Video: Addicted to Working Out


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