Exercise in Anorexia Nervosa Treatment: From Problematic to Therapeutic

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Gale, Maeve
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There is a common link between anorexia nervosa (AN) and compulsive exercise. Despite this, current AN treatment models generally do not incorporate exercise, which can negatively affect recovery and enhance health risks. This paper provides a literature review exploring issues in defining and measuring compulsive exercise, and examining the prevalence, etiology, and effects of compulsive exercise in AN. It also reviews the risks and benefits of incorporating exercise into AN treatment and explores the focuses of research and treatment that has attempted to incorporate exercise thus far. With this synthesis of the research, it is clear that there is much more work to be done to see how treatment programs may support participants of different environments, ages, genders, and stages of illness; this paper explores possible future directions for research and practice to enhance treatment and mitigate risk. In an outline of 12 best practices, this paper concludes with recommendations for incorporating exercise into treatment in safe and sustainable ways.
anorexia nervosa , compulsive exercise , eating disorder treatment , best practices , Indexing test (added 5/25/2023)
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States , openAccess