Addictive drug substances influence production of endorphins. Similarly exercises promote release of endorphins. This is one of the body’s feel good chemicals that makes both drug users and those who exercise “feel high”, with the former group developing increased tolerance for drugs. Whereas long-term exposure to alcohol damages parts of the brain’s white matter, several reports indicate exercises causes neuroplasticity, which is the brain’s ability to recover from an injury. A commonly cited research study conducted in Colorado found that regular aerobic exercises like cycling or running helped protect the brain against this damage. Other than these two exercises and addiction recovery have the following commonalities.
As mentioned earlier exercises promote release of endorphins. These chemical substances bring a sense of joy and happiness in the body. By doing the same they act an alternative source of the same. Patients who exercise are therefore more likely to reduce substance abuse, by extension they may as well abstain. Also it is much easier for them to opt for exercises in places of drugs.
Exercises of Reduce Mental Damage
Mental illnesses are often caused by anxiety, schizophrenia, depression, or bipolar disorder. These mental conditions often drive many people to using drugs in the first place. However influence of the same on abating these mental disorders reduces with time, hence driving them into a situation of increased dosage, overdose and perennial drug abuse. Similarly, regular exercise has the ability to reduce these conditions and is more effective even on long-term basis.
Exercise Help Reduce Stress
Drug addicts get caught up with addiction while trying to escape stress. Based on various media reports it is a major cause of addiction. Conversely regular exercising is a proven alternative to dealing with stress. It changes how cortisol, one of the body’s stress hormones is processed in the body thereby increasing tolerance of stress.
The brain is automated to respond to its environment in a process neuroplasticity. Extended exposure to drugs causes the brain to develop neuron pathways around the drug substance, thereby increasing its recognition and tolerance. In a similar process the brain may reject other substances with different chemical compositions. For instance some raw egg-yolk may be given to a person with excess alcohol in their blood stream to induce vomiting. Just like in the case of alcohol addiction, regular exercising increases the brain’s plasticity hence less difficult to quit drugs.
Exercising Offers Alternative Leisure
Many addicts take drugs as a pastime activity. On the other hand one of the greatest fears of an addict is the possibility of a boring life after addiction. Regular exercising however fills these gaps perfectly for many hence it becomes easier to quit.
Regular Exercise Good for Sleep
Even though this is more of a secondary cause of addiction, sleep deprivation is an underlying reason for many such predisposing factors. Successive lack of sleep for instance causes stress and anxiety. It is common knowledge sleep has a positive effect on these. And the result on addiction recovery is no less important.
Exercise Enhances Self-Esteem
When a person concludes an exercise regime, s/he gets an immediate reward, accomplishment. Creating novel routes for rewards very well offer alternatives to drug abuse. Similarly, exercises normally lead to improved self-esteem, including a boost to one’s image from and a better shape. Great shape gained through repetitive exercises with time is quickly noticed by friends who will often offer commendation that all together reinforces the need to do exercise and if you may stop addiction.
Adhering to an exercise schedule is in itself a sense of discipline. Regular exercising also instills a sense of order. It shows one cares about attaining a healthy life. Regular exercising does shape one’s behavior, leading to development of more desirable characteristics. It may also rejuvenate in an addict the desire to live a more healthy life, hence may reconsider addiction recovery.
In a commonly cited study on exercises and addiction recovery some 60 to 90 percent drug addicts who try to quit on their own often relapse within a year, mostly this is due to snags keeping up necessary lifestyle changes. In a guided research program, participants steadily increased levels exercising for a period over 12 weeks. Together they met as a group to receive extra coaching on how to increase their physical fitness, offering peer support. Finally, the participants received $5 each for group and exercise session they attended, giving them the motivation to continue. Result of the 12-week schedule, involved the participants’ average number of drinks per day drop from 13 to two, with effects going for at least three months.
For more information on the above, click http://www.integrativeaddiction2015.com. The link will be your guide to sign up for the conference as well give you more incisive information about exercises and addiction recovery as well as a backgrounder about speakers lined up for the mega integrative addiction conference. You may as well call Dr. Dalal Akoury, founder of the Integrative Addiction Institute and founding member of International Organization of Integrative Addiction physicians. She is also expected to speak about her specialties at the upcoming August integrative Conference.