When does something healthy, such as exercise, become an unhealthy obsession? And can apps make things worse?
Sprinting around trees, fallen leaves crunching underfoot, Valerie Stephan looks focused and peaceful on her morning jog.
“When I run, I feel like I’m achieving something,” the amateur athlete says. “I’m getting faster, stronger. It’s like a series of small victories.”
Ten years ago, Valerie began jogging to improve her fitness. She signed up for a 5km (three-mile) run, followed by 10km races, then a marathon. But soon she was getting up early each morning to train – and prioritising sport above all else.
“I started to realise that exercise controlled me, rather than me controlling exercise. That control quickly became an obsession,” she says.
“It’s had a big