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Running with an Eating Disorder


I am recovering from anorexia (15 year history of it) and use to over exercise.  Now, I am almost at a healthy weight and run for an hour four times a week and power walk for about 2 hours in total. I would like to know what the sensible amount of exercise is in order to stay toned and fit, without exercise running my life!  Please let me know how much fast walking or running I need to do each week. Many thanks Kim


Hi Kim,

This depends on a few things: Are you exercising for health/fitness or training for any events? Regardless of how much exercise you get you should ensure that you are taking in an adequate number of calories to balance against energy expenditure. That you keep in contact with the doctor who worked with you on your anorexia to ensure regular monitoring continues.

As for how much is sensible is debatable.

Sport England’s targets for ‘physical activity’ are all based on an assumption of 3 x 30 minutes exercise per week being sufficient. Personally I would struggle to do that little! The Government’s guidelines for ‘healthy living’ is to exercise a minimum of 5 x 30 minutes per week matched with a healthy, balanced diet.

Of course all guidelines are just that guidelines and there is a vast difference between 3 x 30 minutes easy walks and 5 x 30 minutes hard running!

If you are not training for any specific events or targets I would suggest that 4 or 5 times a week of varying quantity between 30 and 60 minutes is plenty.

Fitness is a combination of endurance, speed, strength, coordination and flexibility so ensure you include a mix in your exercise regime to ensure you cover all the bases. To stay toned ensure some ‘resistance’ training such as circuit training, medicine ball training or working with dumbbells. If you let me know some more specific aims I can offer some more precise advice.

Good luck,


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