People recovering from drug addiction have long reported the amazing benefits of exercise for a speedier and fuller recovery. Harvard Health Publishing has written articles from psychiatrists who work daily with people battling drug abuse and who highly recommend exercise as a key component of any recovery plan. Studies on mice have shown that the animals reduced their voluntary consumption of morphine when they were given adequate time and equipment to exercise. The science is very clear on the benefits of exercise for everyone, but especially people experiencing psychiatric or spiritual difficulty due to drug addiction. Here are a few ways that exercise helps people feel better and live healthier lives.
Building Healthy Connections
According to BMC, exercise is proven to drastically increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a catalyst for the formation of new brain cells. BDNF is a subject of intense interest among researchers who have only in the last decades discovered the crucial role that BDNF levels play in living a healthy, long, happy life. In rat studies, BDNF has been associated with improved memory, better spatial reasoning, and overall higher cognitive function. Drug addiction, depending on the substance, can alter the brain chemistry in ways that may take months or even years to restore to normal function. There is hope, though – a committed recovery plan that includes plenty of regular exercise can speed the brain’s healing process into hyperdrive.
Feeling Good About Yourself
We read in 1 Corinthians 3:16 (NKJV) that your body is the “temple of God,” so your body should feel as such. According to Nutrithority, reducing cortisol levels lowers stress, both of which improve overall well being. Runners and other athletes who engage in extended cardiovascular exercise often report feeling a natural high due to the flood of feel-good brain chemicals called endorphins. These naturally-occurring brain chemicals promote relaxation, calmness, and clear thinking which can be powerful tools in your continuing battle to live a drug-free life.
Replacing Negative Behaviors
Lack of stimulation and a detachment from commitments are major red flags for people who are prone to substance abuse. Many people who are recovering find that having a set schedule to keep and things to be responsible for is vital to the recovery process. An exercise routine can be a great way to practice self-discipline while doing something that physically makes your body stronger and more resilient to the allure of drugs or alcohol. You can have the mindset to be healthy but according to TheoFit, exercise is a great way to put that mindset into action.
Drug addiction recovery is never an easy or pain-free process. Unfortunately, some levels of discomfort or negative emotions are impossible to avoid. But with a dedicated plan of action, there is hope to make it through to become a healthier, stronger person in the long run. Keep Psalm 46:10 (NKJV) in mind and “be still, and know that I am God,” to remember that you aren’t in this process alone.
For more tips to stay on your path to recovery and improve your mental health, read on, here!