I hope you all have the pleasure of enjoying this article. It is a freelance contribution from Helen Grange. Please read thoroughly and take it in to thought.
Fitness a Powerhouse in Battling Addiction!
By Helen Grange
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, illicit drug use in America is an ever increasing problem. In 2012, almost 24 million Americans aged 12 or above had taken a illegal drug or abused a prescription medication. Drug addiction isn’t just a personal tragedy; it is also taking its toll on the health system, with illicit drugs costing the nation $11 billion in health care alone and $193 billion overall. When it comes to fighting addiction, one of the key elements is prevention. Additionally, it is vital that those who are undergoing rehabilitation or have recently complete inpatient treatment, embrace a brand new lifestyle in which exercise and nutrition play key roles. Exercise is an inexpensive way to obtain a ‘natural high’ and it has a host of positive long-term health effects, promoting heart health and helping keep diseases such as cancer and Type II diabetes at bay. These are just a few ways that keeping fit can help those seeking to put an end to addiction:
* Exercise is a natural stress reliever: Exercise lowers levels of stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline and this is particularly true with activities like yoga, which emphasizes the connection between body and mind and incorporates controlled breathing exercises and meditation. Indeed, yoga is a part of most rehabilitation programs in top centers across the nation, and has been proven in various studies to battle tiredness and promote greater wellbeing, vitality and better sleep. Yoga is far more than a form of exercise; it wields great transformational power, since it is part of a lifestyle which encompasses values like kindness and compassion to oneself, in addition to respect for the body, mind and spirit. The practice of pranayamic breathing, meanwhile, has been found to decrease anxiety, fight nervousness and boost concentration. This type of breathing has also been found to have a significant effect on the brain, increasing the amplitude of theta brainwaves and making practitioners feel more energetic. Indeed, embracing a healthy lifestyle which includes yoga and other forms or exercise is often cited by recovering addicts as one of the best effects of quitting a life of addiction; exercise is no less than transformational, in a physical, mental (and, some would say, spiritual) sense.
* Exercise lessens the likelihood of addiction: Studies show that a quick shift from initial drug use to regular consumption is a strong predictor of the likelihood of addiction. Those who are physically fit/who perform regular exercise are significantly less likely to become dependent on drugs. Laboratory studies have additionally shown that rats who keep physically active are less likely to binge on drugs, and there is a lower risk of drug use escalating. Those who keep fit are also less likely to suffer a relapse once they are no longer under the throes of addiction. In other words, exercise can help with addiction on various levels.
* Exercises boosts self-confidence: Exercise makes us feel good about ourselves and this positivity affects the lifestyle choices we make. Greater self-confidence is linked to better social skills, which can lessen the sense of isolation and anxiety that often lead an addict to seek solace in drugs.
* There is a link between exercise and lower rates of cigarette and marijuana consumption in the youth: A University of Michigan study has shown that teens who are into physical fitness are less likely to use these substances. Studies on laboratory animals also show that exercise lowers the demand for nicotine.
* Physical fitness battles depression: A study carried out on 156 persons suffering from depression showed that exercise not only decreases symptoms of depression, it is also linked to a lower rate of relapse into mental disease. The results are highly significant as far as addiction is concerned, since many persons who abuse drugs and alcohol also suffer from depression and/or anxiety. Whether hip-hop music sets your soul soaring or a challenging yoga classes helps you reach the peaceful state you have been craving all day, physical fitness is the one thing you can always count on to make you feel better, stronger, tougher.