In most cases, feeling anxious about missing a date with the weights isn’t just normal – it’s commendable.
“Some anxiety and disappointment over missing a workout is healthy because it encourages us to stick with our goals and to see them to fruition,” says Dr Scott Griffiths, a psychologist at the University of Sydney.
But the important words here are “some anxiety and disappointment”.
If skipping your scheduled sweat session makes you feel like a failure or produces physical symptoms, like a racing heart or shortness of breath, there may be a bigger issue in play, says Griffiths.
Another red flag: you skip important social events because they conflict with gym time.
All of these reactions could signal an underlying anxiety disorder, says Griffiths.
According to a study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, you may have an exercise addiction if you use exercise as a coping mechanism to escape unpleasant feelings or to increase self-esteem, instead of to improve your health and fitness.
You don’t have to figure it out alone: talk to a professional who can use cognitive-behavioural therapy, a form of counselling where you work together to challenge unhelpful or disruptive patterns of thinking.