Don’t Use The Gym As An Escape

Let’s talk about the idea of using sport, or fitness as an escape.

Have you ever gone to the box because you are trying to escape another area of your life? Do you ever feel like you’d rather hang out at the gym, so you don’t have to deal with _______? Do you think this is okay, or maybe not so much?

Over my years of coaching I have heard many people make comments about how the gym is their escape. Most of us feel a lot of positive feelings when we are at the gym, pushing ourselves. For some of you, training might be the only time during the day when you have fun, let of some steam and enjoy yourself. It’s a wonderful thing to love your sport, or your gym, and I highly encourage you to find the type of environment that excites you.

  • But, have you ever found yourself staying longer at the gym to avoid a personal conflict (that you’d rather not deal with)?
  • Do you go to the gym when you “need to get away” from someone or something?
  • Are you spending a ton of hours training, simply because you “dislike” your current job, living situation, or because you’re having trouble with a relationship that you’re in?

Today’s post, is just meant to help keep you in check. Although I believe that the gym can be therapeutic, I’m hoping that you understand it’s a fine-line. I want to encourage you to deal with the stress in your life, because it won’t go away otherwise.  If there are areas of your life that need more attention, you may need to reduce your time at the gym, in order to give those areas adequate time and energy. When we focus on improving the quality of our life, we are able to enjoy the process and be better at all that we do.

Make sure that you prioritize your health and well-being outside of the box, so that you can continue to do what you love.

What are your thoughts about using the gym as an escape? Comment below!


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Reader Interactions


  1. Crossfidiot says

    My family on both sides drank heavily as an escape/outlet. I prefer exercise and healthier outlets. Still, I do limit “gym time” per week so I don’t go overboard.

  2. A Dad says

    My job sucks, and my homelife feels like everything rests on me to do (cooking, cleaning etc), when im at the gym i dont have to worry about it. I just have to worry about doing 1 more rep. However i do find it upseting that after i have that break at the gym and return home that nothing has changed, everything is still on me.

  3. inri says

    I can totally relate to Crossfidiot and Dad and to expand, I would add its the sense of control. Being able to mentally and physically push myself to my limits, is the only sense of real self control I can muster and is extremely gratifying. I understand the purpose of using training as a skill transferable to real life problems but I still find it difficult. Ask me to push myself to the point of puking in a work out, no problem. Ask me to bring up all the dead skeletons currently in my closet… Ugh, let me get back to you (said years ago)

  4. Mentality WOD says

    I love the comments you all! Thank you for sharing, and posting. I do think that pushing ourselves in the gym, and getting uncomfortable does HELP us be better able to take on life, stress, and problems outside of the gym –

  5. Alison Phillips says

    I agree with “Dad” up there, there’s so much expectation from family, friends, the kids… it’s so nice to go to the gym and let those endorphins make it all better, but I can see where it can become a problem because like anything, it’s good in moderation. I’ll keep that in mind, so I have a healthy balance, because lately I’ve been at the gym more than home and I’m sure that’s absolutely the wrong way to handle a tough issue.

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