Tackling the challenge of exercise during recovery from an eating disorder

Topic Selected: Eating Disorders

General Article icon Type: General Article

The issue of exercise can cause a lot of worry and uncertainty when an individual is recovering from an eating disorder. Over-exercising is often a feature of anorexia, carried out compulsively as a tool in weight loss and maintenance of the disorder.

Eating disorder inpatient units provide an environment where exercise is very precisely managed. Zero exercise will be allowed at low weight and further into treatment when exercise is slowly introduced, it will be gentle and carefully managed activity. At Newbridge, young people join Leisure Group, which enables them to do yoga, moving on to badminton and finally swimming (undertaken in conjunction with body image work).

However, once a young person leaves the inpatient unit and returns home, it isn’t possible to control exercise in the same way. So how should reintroduction to exercise be managed?

“This is something parents are very concerned about as they prepare for discharge,” explains Gill W

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