Let’s get Physical
Physical activity and exercise, I believe, are a fundamental component of a solid recovery plan. If you’re not doing it then- you should be, and if you are procrastinating about it – ask yourself why?
However, this is NOT a biased opinion piece from someone who loves exercise. So, I’m just going to park my opinion (I will pin that here for the moment) and do what I think is essential when providing education and guidance.
Let’s look at the evidence!
The University of Buffalo, asked this question in a recent study: Can exercise help prevent cocaine relapse?
Using mice, findings from the study indicated that by simply running on a treadmill for one hour, five times a week this resulted in “memory clearance.” So when this is applied to the recovery process they believe it causes forgetfulness of the original craving.
Simply put!- You have a craving. – You exercise. – You forget about that craving.
Let’s not just stop there!
Since one of the first ever research studies in 1989 investigated the benefits of exercise within inpatient addiction programmes, it has been well documented that physical activity has many holistic benefits, especially in combating addictive behaviors.
The serotonin release during exercise leads to the achievement of a pleasurable and happy state without the use a substance. The activation of the endogenous opioid system triggered by alcohol is also addressed by a vigorous workout (TAPA 2003). Individuals who work out usually report an improvement in mood, even to the point of mild euphoria, following exercise.
The social element provided through exercise in group scenarios, clubs or society’s also proves beneficial in recovery. Group workouts are a great way of alleviating the isolation and disconnection experienced by individuals by previous life choices allowing them to take advantage of the positive social pressures toward making healthier choices.
Lastly, working out helps decrease stress, and improves coping skills. These two factors are common relapse indicators and are driving factors in an individual’s decision to use substances.
So, (reinstates opinion), search the internet and to will find there is report after report after study after finding that states that physical activity works to reinforce recovery.
At ARC Fitness we believe this wholeheartedly.
However, when you add to this regular accountability, counselling and a healthy network of people who will support you in your recovery, you will have a successful run at living a sober life.
So, what are you waiting for?