“Cocaine addiction is often characterized by cycles of recovery and relapse, with stress and negative emotions, often caused by withdrawal itself, among the major causes of relapse,” Thanos, senior research scientist in the UB Research Institute on Addictions and the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, said in a statement.
According to the mice study, this type of aerobic exercise can help cause “memory clearance” that helps people with substance use disorders forget their cravings. This is because cardio alters the brain’s mesolimbic dopamine pathway, which is linked to the rewarding properties of drugs like cocaine, found researchers. What’s more, regular aerobic exercise was found to alter the behavioral and physiological responses to stress and decrease stress-induced cocaine-seeking behavior. And the less stressed you are, the less likely you’ll return to using.
“Our results suggest that regular aerobic exercise could be a useful strategy for relapse prevention, as part of a comprehensive treatment program for recovering cocaine abusers,” Thanos says. “Further research is necessary to see if these results also hold true for other addictive drugs.”
More Benefits of Exercise
Physical activity is an important part of healing your mind, body and spirit from a substance use disorder. Here are a few more ways exercise can enhance your recovery:
- You’ll fill a void. Exercise is the perfect healthy distraction and replacement for alcohol or drugs.
- You’ll boost your immune system. Exercise leads to a healthy body with a better ability to fend off colds and flu.
- You’ll sleep better. A good cardio workout can translate into great shut-eye. This is because sleep has been study-proven to improve sleep quality and increase sleep duration.
- You’ll feel stronger – physically and mentally. Exercising and reaching exercise goals can boost your endurance and confidence to take charge of your recovery and make lasting changes.
Physical Fitness at BRC
Our state-of-art fitness centers allow residents to begin their journey to fitness or pick up where they left off prior to addiction. At BRC Recovery, our personal trainers teach clients about physical anatomy as well as how to achieve and maintain strength and resiliency through a combination of exercise, proper nutrition and rest. To learn more about our fitness and yoga program, call 866-461-1759.