Sunday 24 June 2018

Dear Dr Jennifer: 'I'm worried that my husband is becoming addicted to running'

Dr Jennifer Grant, a GP with the Beacon HealthCheck screening programme at Beacon Hospital.
Dr Jennifer Grant, a GP with the Beacon HealthCheck screening programme at Beacon Hospital.
"I worry he's doing all this too quickly and getting too obsessed."

Dr Jennifer Grant

Dear Doctor, My husband got into fitness this year and has become quite obsessed. He runs miles every single day - sometimes twice a day.

He has joined a running club and is now talking about getting into swimming in the sea and cycling. It's good he's happy, but he's in his late 40s and I worry he's doing all this too quickly and getting too obsessed - should I worry?

Answer: The exercise your husband is partaking in - namely running, swimming and cycling - are considered cardio- protective. Of all addictions, this is definitely not the worst. I appreciate you are worried, however are you more concerned about his health or his increasing absence?

If you feel he is spending a disproportionate amount of time exercising, to the detriment of home-life, the first thing to do is to highlight your concerns to him.

I assume that his physical health is of more concern to you given that you mentioned he is in his late 40s.

Cardiovascular risk factors that can easily be assessed include smoking history, weekly alcohol intake, weight, blood pressure and cholesterol. A family history of heart disease or sudden death in a young relative is also important. If your husband does not have any of the above risk factors, this would provide a level of reassurance. But to put your mind at ease, you could ask him to attend a doctor for a health check and consider a routine exercise stress test.

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