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The Benefits Of Exercise In Conquering Addiction

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By Author: Steve Son
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Most treatments for addiction revolve around some kind of “talk therapy” or counseling with their main focus on helping the person with the addiction figure out why they continue to engage in addictive behaviors, despite what happened in the first place in terms of the problems that developed as a result of their addiction, and more effective ways of managing the feelings that lie beneath addictive behaviors.

Although these approaches like addiction counselling, New York City are helpful, some people feel they need an approach that helps with physical, not only just the mental or emotional aspects of addiction. Some people also vouch for exercise that helps with managing cravings. Although the benefits of exercise on physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health have been lauded for what seems like decades now and has always been recognized as a very effective tool during the addiction recovery process, but it is only recently that exercise has been recognized as a treatment for addiction in its own right.

It is usually seen that when someone is trying to overcome addiction, his/her mind and body crave the substance that was producing endorphins in the brain and creating the feeling of being high. Stress of daily life just adds to the whole problem, which can make cravings reach unbearable levels. Vigorous exercise also releases endorphins, causing you to feel high. The intensity may be less than what you experience with drugs or alcohol, but its effects can be gratifying both mentally and physically.

Anxiety or depression is natural for an individual dealing with withdrawal, but exercise can be instrumental in fostering healthy, addiction-free living. It’s also been proven to

1. Reduce cravings and use (reduce drug seeking behavior)
2. Reduce anxiety and stress
3. Promote better sleep
4. Protect against disease like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, some cancers, etc.
5. Improve thinking and offer a positive outlook
6. Restore brain cells damaged by intense drug abuse
7. Boost self-esteem
8. Serve as constructive coping mechanism

Now, the question that might be going through your mind is that how can running, weightlifting and yoga have such a significant effect on the body and mind of someone coping with the recovery process? To put it simply, it has much to do with the benefits that exercise has on everybody.

1. Weight loss & management
2. Increased energy & muscle strength
3. Improved circulation
4. Better sleep
5. Improved self-image and mood
6. Sharper mental acuity
7. Reduced depression & anxiety
8. Psychological improvements

The bottom line is exercise can be a valuable part of the addiction recovery process for a number of reasons, and you don’t have to become a fitness fanatic to see the benefits of exercise. No matter it’s yoga, team sports, running or aerobics, keep moving to increase the chances of continued recovery and a healthy life. When combined with other proven forms of addiction treatment, exercise has been shown to produce protective effects in addiction recovery associated with the neurobiological and behavioral outcomes of physical activity. When taking into consideration that regular exercise helps with stress reduction, improved sleep, an increased sense of well-being and overall health, it comes as no surprise that it has the ability to help someone maintain their sobriety down the line.

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