While most adults are well aware of the health advantages of getting regular exercise, its benefits for addiction recovery are not as commonly known. Physical activity can help adults overcome their addiction and may even improve the efficacy of other substance abuse treatments. Below are some of the ways in which getting regular exercise may help you overcome your addiction.
When trying to recover from an addiction to alcohol, nicotine, or another addictive substance, even a small amount of stress can worsen cravings and create a huge obstacle to remaining healthy. Exercising regularly can help reduce feelings of stress while improving your overall health. Committing to a long-term physical activity routine can also help reduce any drug-seeking behaviors and boost the efficacy of any other medical treatments administered during your recovery process.
Addiction is a complex illness that creates imbalances in the brain’s chemistry. During withdrawal, the mind and body begin to crave the substance that incited the imbalance and was responsible for producing endorphins in the brain. Endorphins are “feel-good”chemicals responsible for the euphoric feelings brought on by certain addictive substances. However, endorphins are also released during exercise. Physical activity, therefore, can be a healthy way to progressively restore the brain’s normal balance without the use of harmful substances. Exercise has also been shown to result in the release of endocannabinoids and galanin, two chemicals that can enhance euphoria from exercise and reduce stress-related substance cravings respectively.
While exercise can be a great help when overcoming substance abuse, it is not a cure for addiction. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction and looking to live a healthier life, contact the behavioral health specialists at Las Encinas Hospital. Call (888) 348-2165 to learn more about how we can help you overcome your addiction with optimism, expertise, and personalized care.