WHEN YOU RELEASE ENDORPHINS
YOU JUST FEEL GOOD
Everyone knows exercise is an important component for a person’s overall health and wellness. However, several studies have shown exercise can be critical to recovery from substance abuse and addiction. This is why we include physical conditioning as part of our holistic substance abuse treatment program at Pax House.
Why is Exercise Beneficial
to Substance Abuse
When a person becomes dependent upon drugs or alcohol, their brain chemistry changes – namely the neurotransmitters affecting mood and pleasure, especially dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. When a person is dependent upon a substance, he or she often has trouble finding pleasure in normal activities because of this alteration to the pleasure center in the brain. However, exercise can help to promote natural feelings of pleasure through the production of endorphins. These are natural hormones that create a similar high to opioids and are typically found to be depleted in the physiology of addicts. By replacing them through exercise, the brain can be brought back to balance, faster.
Exercise benefits the brain in other ways as well. It promotes the formation of blood vessels, creates the connections between the cells, helps repair brain tissues, and generates new neurons, especially in the memory areas. It also improves how well a person can handle stress. Additionally, exercise can relieve minor feelings of depression, appease anxiety, and lift mood. It also promotes an overall feeling of well-being, increases self-esteem, and promotes a positive outlook. Exercise can also provide people with a physical outlet for certain feelings and emotions. All of these benefits help to reduce many of the common triggers that lead to substance abuse and relapse.
Other Benefits of Exercise
Exercise can also be beneficial as a new hobby, providing many opportunities for healthy social engagement. When a person is going through recovery he or she cannot be involved in many of the relationships and activities previously enjoyed. In order to avoid the temptation and triggers to use, he or she needs to find new ways to spend their time. Exercise, especially training for something such as a 5K or marathon, provides a way to focus time and energy. Gyms and fitness clubs can provide a new place to meet friends and socialize without drugs and alcohol. Exercise can also help to promote physical health. Many people overcoming drug or alcohol abuse are also dealing with medical complications due to their self-abuse, and exercise can help the body heal.
What Type of Physical
Activities Work Best?
Any type of physical activity can help to support a treatment program. Running is often seen as an ideal exercise because almost anyone can begin a running program, and it can be continued anywhere. It also has many physical and emotional benefits, including the “runner’s high,” a well-documented release of endorphins experienced by runners after a certain amount of activity. Yoga is another very helpful physical activity because it combines physical movement with mindfulness and meditation. However, walking, swimming, using an elliptical, weight lifting, team sports, or any other type of exercise can provide similar benefits.
Physical Conditioning at
At Pax House, we recognize the importance of exercise during recovery. Therefore, our clients have access to the local LA Fitness gym to work out as part of their holistic treatment program. We create a fitness plan that works with their current physical condition and we help them achieve their goals for improvement. We monitor their activity to ensure they will not injure themselves or exercise compulsively. We offer yoga classes to teach stress relief and mindfulness and we provide opportunities for hiking and other outdoor physical activities so that clients can reconnect with nature.
START YOUR JOURNEY TODAY.
Contact us at 626-398-3897 for a free
and confidential assessment.
324 Wapello St, Altadena, CA 91001
Proudly certified by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities.