How Fitness Helps Those in Recovery from Prescription Drug Addiction

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Those recovering from a prescription drug addiction ( may find themselves feeling stressed, depressed and restless. This is the result of your body’s chemistry having been changed by the drugs you were taking. But you can largely reverse these negative feelings through physical fitness. Exercise can also bring you a whole host of other benefits as well.

Prescription Drug Addiction

Here is how fitness helps those in recovery from prescription drug addiction:

1. It Can Reduce Stress

Stress can be so severe in the recovery process that it could easily lead to a relapse. But exercise helps you reduce stress and control it as well. It does this by reducing the levels of certain hormones that contribute to stress, such as cortisol and adrenaline. Exercise can also take your mind off your problems by forcing your brain to focus on your body instead.

2. It Can Lead to Better Sleep

Insomnia is a problem that many people in recovery suffer. Sometimes insomnia could have even been a contributing factor in becoming addicted to prescription drugs. Exercise, though, can help you get better sleep by increasing the amount of time you spend in what is called deep sleep, which is the sleep phase that is most physically restorative. Studies have also shown that exercise can increase the length of your sleep, too.

3. It Can Improve Your Mood

Depression is another symptom that people in recovery often suffer. Like with a lack of sleep, feeling depressed could have even been a reason that led you to become addicted to prescription drugs. Exercise, though, can help improve your mood, and it can do so naturally. When you exercise, your body releases what are called endorphins into your brain, which make you feel good. This mood improvement is often referred to as “runner’s high,” but any form of exercise can generate this feeling. As an added benefit, these endorphins can also help you reduce your cravings for artificial highs.

4. It Can Increase Your Levels of Energy

People recovering from prescription drug addiction can often feel tired and without energy, but exercise can fix this even if it sounds counterintuitive. Studies have shown that people who are sedentary will experience less fatigue and more energy after they have begun an exercise regimen. They have further shown that this increase in energy is even stronger than what can be produced through artificial stimulants and that it far exceeds the energy you expend when you exercise.

5. It Can Help You Restore Brain Cells

Intensive abuse of prescription drugs can lead to brain cell damage, but exercise can help restore brain cells. Research has shown that certain types of exercise — specifically endurance exercise such as jogging or walking — can spur neurogenesis, which is the growth of brain cells. This could help improve your memory and your ability to learn.

6. It Can Boost Your Self-Esteem

It is not uncommon for people in recovery to suffer from low self-esteem. It is also not uncommon for low self-esteem to have been a contributing factor in becoming addicted to prescription drugs. There is, however, a distinctive link between physical health and high self-esteem. Improving your body will improve how you view yourself and your life. In can also increase your self-confidence, which is something you can never have too much of as you recover from prescription drug addiction.

7. It Can Fill a Void

People in recovery from prescription drug abuse often find that there is a big hole in their life where the drugs used to be. Previously, your life centered around the drugs, but now they are gone and you have nothing to replace them. But exercise can help fill this void by giving you something to do every day. It also provides structure and routine to your day.

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The chief editor here at Billboard Health, wife and Mother of 1, Nutritionist and goal getter.

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