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How to Get Addicted to Exercise:
Mind and Body Recovery from Opioid Abuse

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There’s a long list of reasons why exercise is good for you. It helps you lose weight, it boosts your mood, it helps maintain physical functionality.

But what if I told you exercise can help you recover from opioid addiction, you need to find out how to get addicted to exercise instead.

Exercise and Its Effect on Your Brain

The state of euphoria that comes with using opioids is the result of the drug causing the brain to release endorphins. Endorphins reduce pain, boost pleasure, and create an overall sense of well-being.

When you stop using opioids, the brain stops releasing endorphins, and this can cause symptoms such as anxiety and depression in recovering addicts.

Finding a form of exercise, such as running or weight training can be a great way to tackle these withdrawal symptoms.

As well as reducing anxiety and stress, exercise can also:

  • Reduce cravings
  • Help to restore brain cells damaged by drug abuse
  • Create a sense of achievement and boost self-esteem
  • Promote better sleep, which is often disturbed when recovering from opioid abuse
  • Fill the void left by the absence of your opioid use

It's easy to understand why exercise though might not be the first thing on your mind.

How to Get Addicted to Exercise

Getting motivated to exercise can be difficult. Especially for someone recovering from an addiction.

Getting started is the hardest part. It's important to find a form of exercise that works for you.

Different Types of Exercise

Just as different drugs affect the body and mind differently, so do different forms of exercise. This is why exercise can be such an effective form of opioid addiction treatment. Let's take a look at some of them to help you find the best for you...

  • Yoga
    Yoga can be a great place to start. Not only does it help you to get in touch with your body, but it helps relax the mind, which can help alleviate stress and anxiety.
  • Walking
    Whilst not physically demanding a walk amidst the great outdoors is not to be laughed at.

    Taking a stroll outside can help boost dopamine levels, and taking a short 10-15 minute walk can help fight off cravings.

  • Strength Training
    Strength training increases testosterone levels, which will help balance your mood, and improve your sleep.

    There is something to be said for pushing against a heavy weight and winning that triggers a response of increased confidence when it comes to battling against cravings. 

  • Running 
    Running is walking, but harder. Vigorous exercise releases endorphins and creates what is sometimes known as a ‘runner’s high’ and is much like a chemical high.

    It is easy to set goals for moving forward and can even produce a sense of escaping from an addiction.

  • Team Sports
    Team sports allow you to exercise and spend time with other people. This increased sense of camaraderie can certainly help when it comes to beating addiction.

A Holistic Approach

Recovering from an opioid addiction takes its toll on the mind and body. It's crucial to ensure you pay close attention to both.

Once you work out how to get addicted to exercise you’ll not only benefit from the mood-boosting benefits of exercise, but you will become healthier too.

For more information on using exercise to help beat addiction, and personal development take a look at the rest of our site. 


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