Exercising an Addiction

Most of the clients that I work with deal with addiction.  Physical exercise  is a great alternative to using drugs.

How it helps:
·         Takes the mind off of the craving. 
o   An exercise routine is time away from any other problems you face.  Not only can you leave all your problems outside of your exercise, but you can also take them with you and work them out.  Exercising allows your mind to get off of the craving, but if the cravings follow you can still get rid of them by walking (or running) them off.
·         Relieves stress by releasing endorphins that helps the body feel good without an addictive substance.  
o   Many people go to drugs because they help to relieve stress.  Drugs do this by flooding the body with its own natural pain killers.  Just because the drug has been removed, it doesn’t mean the body and mind don’t need to feel better.  By incorporating exercise you give the body a purely “natural high” that activates the body to release these chemicals in a natural and balanced way.
·         Tires out the body to remove the energy to pursue the addiction. 
o   We always need the energy to pursue what we want. If that energy is gone we won’t do it.  Not only that, after the exercise the body and mind feels satisfied.  With that feeling the desire and the energy to go and do drugs are lessoned.
·         Helps to cleanse the body from unnatural chemicals.
o   Just like any other chemical stuck in the body, drugs  remain in the body longer in a body that is inactive.  Muscles in movement squeeze out the toxins that are in them.  A racing heart pushes the chemicals through and out of the bloodstream creating a cleansing flood to get rid of unnatural chemicals.
·         Heals the receptors that have been damaged from the drug.
o   When we exercise we cause micro-damages to the body.  This forces the body to go into healing mode after the exercise.  This healing helps to fix imperfections caused by drug use.  Through exercise the body works to adapt to the challenge; the body works to function better and changes through healing the imperfections that exist in the body.  Exercise is the only action that heals damage drugs did.
·         Increases the body’s own natural production of chemicals that were reduced because of the drug addiction.
o   When addicts use a drug that triggers the release of the body’s hormones and endorphins the body produces less on their own.  Over time for an addict to feel good they need the drug to do so.  By quitting the drug there body will still crave the hormones the drug released.  But exercise also triggers the body’s natural release of healthy neuro-chemicals.  The best part of this is it improves the release of these chemicals unlike drugs that decline the body’s own production.