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Has anyone ever considered exercise as a form treatment?

Discussion in 'Questions About Treatment' started by Aaron, Dec 9, 2014.

  1. Aaron

    Aaron Member

    I was wondering if anyone ever had considered an exercise program to use for treatment of drug or alcohol addiction? Have you ever heard of the term "strong mind strong body"? Is there anyone out there who has tried to incorporate some kind of physical training for their recovery?
  2. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    Exercise can be part of the recovery process. By itself it would help but only up to some point because there's a lot that needs to be done. Changing attitudes, making resolutions and keeping them . . . all in the mind. But exercising nonetheless will be helpful in keeping your mind off drugs while you are at it [exercising that is]. So as a recovery strategy it certainly is great.
    demku likes this.
  3. wulfman

    wulfman Senior Contributor

    Certainly the release of endorphins from exercise gives the body a feel good sensation and are also used to combat pain. So I believe it can definitely be used to combat depression and certain ailments. I don't know about its effect on drug addicts but ultimately it is something that occupies your mind and will help you avoid whatever it is you are trying to avoid. Addicts should not keep their mind idle.
  4. Brady2121

    Brady2121 Active Contributor

    In my opinion, anything that occupies your time, and keeps you away from your addiction is a treatment.
  5. NikkiDesrosiers

    NikkiDesrosiers Senior Contributor

    Exercise is definitely a wonderful addition to any treatment regimen. Exercising helps relieve stress and releases endorphins -- all of which can help curve your urges to partake in your substance of choice.
  6. Charli

    Charli Community Champion

    I think exercise is one of the most effective ways to beat addiction because it gives you something to focus on that gives you a certain amount of high. It's why some people are addicted to lifting weights, I think having this in your life not only clears your mind but also it boosts your self confidence to a level where you could possibly not feel the need to abuse substances anymore just to feel "normal".
  7. Ruskoll

    Ruskoll Member

    When one of my friends was going through the recovery from alcohol, I forced him to come on runs with me, they were nothing too much just about 5km a day. This seemed to help him a lot as we used to do it when the cravings were the worst (not when he was in crippling pain though of course). The run kept his mind off it and also used up a lot of the energy that his body had for craving.

    After the runs he would feel a lot more relaxed for a time afterwards, of course he had to keep the exercise up otherwise the cravings and urges would come back as bad as ever.
  8. Gelsemium

    Gelsemium Community Champion

    Exercise is not exactly a form of treatment, but it's an occupation and what we do need to recover from an addiction is to be occupied with something healthy, so yeah, it's very important.
  9. ayywithemm

    ayywithemm Member

    Exercise does wonders and releases feel good hormones, and it can be a great factor in combatting drug abuse.
    You're getting blood pumped around your body and brain faster, you perspire; it is like a physical cleanse if done properly and often.
  10. Gelsemium

    Gelsemium Community Champion

    Well said ayywithemm (lol good username!), not only all those benefits you mention, but also the fact that we end up finding the sport we love and making new friends in the areas we love, it's the best.
  11. ayywithemm

    ayywithemm Member

    Lol thanks :cool: @Gelsemium; I agree, there's a different kind of bond with sports friends, maybe because you're all working towards the same goal and help each other along the way.
  12. diamond

    diamond Member

    Yes! Ever since I started to get clean, I decided to take on the habit or running every night! I have noticed improvements with my dedication to stay clean and healthy! aside from programs and external motivation, I highly reccoment you guys to start running! running with friends also is a great method to get your mind off of things. Helps clear your body both physically and mentally with a good sweat. Good luck, and I hope it works.
  13. Onionman

    Onionman Active Contributor

    I think it can certainly be an important part of anyone's program. But it's only going to be part of the story. It may not address everything but certainly should help. Healthy body and healthy mind is really what it's all about.
  14. juno

    juno Community Champion

    I think exercise as a treatment depends on how deep you are into your addiction. If drugs have become a major issue in your life where your daily life activities are being interrupted, then exercise alone will definitely not do. However, I do think that exercise for some may be a good accompaniment to their treatment. It can help the body become stronger and healthier. The increase in adrenalin levels during exercise will also help mood stay up.
  15. mikeqin

    mikeqin Member

    The effects of exercise on individuals with elevated depressive symptoms have been examined in over two dozen RCTs and has been the topic of several meta-analyses and systematic reviews,
  16. downsouth

    downsouth Active Contributor

    Exercise can be a great form of treatment. And it may be difficult to get started in the beginning but once you establish that routine, you really don't feel the same if you don't exercise. I swim 2-3 times a week. I would more if I could.
  17. downsouth

    downsouth Active Contributor

    More often than not depressed people do not have a social life or their minds occupied. Yes it could be hormonal or genetic but I think it is more environmental. Especially because it is widespread, especially in America. Any hobby, exercise is the best because you are helping yourself physically also, would be helpful.
  18. amethyst

    amethyst Community Champion

    Exercise is most important when trying to overcome an addiction. I went swimming every day. The exertion from the exercise made me feel good and strong. It also helped me to switch off my mind and not obsess about certain things. For a long time, whenever I felt the urge to reach for a drink, I would throw myself into the ocean and visualize that I was purifying myself from all the murky things inside me. It worked real wonders. :)
  19. Rosyrain

    Rosyrain Community Champion

    Exercise is probably the most important tool in your toolbox when you are trying to overcome an addiction because it helps to heal the harm that has been caused to your body and gives you energy to fight the cravings. Whatever your drug of choice was, it harmed your body in some way. Exercise makes your body stronger and more able to work on repairing itself.
  20. Gelsemium

    Gelsemium Community Champion

    Yep, sports create a different sort of bonding because we really love what we are doing, so nothing like something that intense and complete to get our mind out of drugs.