Apart from getting in shape, studies show a regular exercise routine can help keep you sober. Among the many things that drug addiction destroy are healthy habits and routines. Once addiction becomes established in a person’s life, preoccupation with getting and using drugs eventually supersede everything else, including self-care like regular meals and exercise.
Most recovery programs are focused on restoring the physical and psychological damage caused by chronic drug abuse. There are also several research projects that have been able to show how exercise helps in addiction recovery. Some of these outcomes are so positive that it could motivate people in recovery to include exercise as part of their sobriety maintenance process:
According to Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), exercise provide so many benefits in so many areas of physical and mental health that the agency has pooled over 100 exercise and neurobiology experts for a two-day conference focused on physical activity as a strategy for prevention and the role it can play in the recovery process and sobriety maintenance. At the conference NIDA also announced a $4-million-dollar commitment for new research into exercise as it relates to addiction prevention and recovery. While researchers are busy validating exercise, here are some ways in which walking, running, push-ups, squats and sprints can help you if you are in addiction recovery.
While by itself, exercise is not a cure for addiction, it can act as a distraction from drug use with some positive benefits. For those in recovery, adding exercise to a drug and alcohol recovery program can prove to be an effective part of any relapse prevention program.
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