Beating Addiction Through Exercise

Guest Blog Post Written By: Susan Treadway

It’s important when you’re in the midst of addiction recovery to be able to have a mind that is no longer hooked on thinking about alcohol or drugs. Also, having a body that is fit and in optimal health is supremely beneficial to your overall well-being.

The truth is, exercise is a wonderful way to break free of substance addiction. Not only does it give you a calmer, steadier disposition, but it can break the cycle of wild mood swings that addicts often endure and teaches you discipline, boosts self-esteem and helps you build toward a better looking, better feeling body, all around.

The “Natural High” of Exercise is Better for You

Endorphins are released in your brain whenever you exercise as a result of the rush of blood to your head when you get your heart pumping. Generated in healthy amounts, the endorphins released as a result of exercise can significantly calm an addict’s desire for alcohol or drugs.

Part of the process of beating addiction is to get your body on the right track to healing and repairing itself. This begins when you combine a healthful diet with a regular exercise routine that sees your body making use of every cell in a balanced manner. The more you exercise, the more efficient your body becomes in fighting internal infections, and repairing the effects of addiction. Your mind becomes more lucid, as the brain fog and obsessive thinking patterns invariably dissipate. Studies say that exercise is an “alternative, non-drug reinforcer,” serving as a healthy coping mechanism. Plus it can help with withdrawal symptoms and prevent relapse, making it an important supplement to addiction treatment.

Even though it will be hard in the beginning, motivate yourself to get up and get moving on a regular basis. Turn to a fitness-minded friend to support you in your quest to upgrade your body, especially when you first start out.

Pick an Exercise

It’s best to take up an activity that will help unlock the pattern of obsessive thinking from which many addicts suffer. The following exercises will not only stimulate your cardio system, cause you to sweat away toxins, and rejuvenate your spirits, these will also help steer you away from an addictive frame of mind:

Yoga: Yoga, particularly hatha yoga, will help tighten and build your core while breaking mind patterns of obsessive thinking. This type of yoga combines physical exercises with mindfulness exercises. A complement to in-depth meditation, you can elect to slowly incorporate a meditation routine with your hatha yoga classes for maximum benefits.

Swimming: A deeply therapeutic form of exercise, swimming is a wonderful way to move your body. The lack of impact makes this an especially helpful activity, though it can still provide the exertion you need to get the endorphins flowing. 

Strength Training: If you’re a fan of gaming apps, video games, competitions and the like, then strength training may be more your cup of tea as you seek to continually “best” the maximum weight you can sustain. A major plus is that lifting weights tires you out on a deep-tissue level, promoting deeper, more restful sleep.

Team Sports: If you’re a sociable type of person, signing up for a team sport might just be the right thing for you. Not only does practicing a team sport help you exercise your body, it assists you in creating healthy relationships with your fellow teammates in a way that uplifts your overall spirits. Being part of a strong social network is a crucial part of the recovery process. 

A Takeaway

It takes a combination of activities and therapy to successfully pull yourself out of the addiction pit. Embrace a form of physical activity – a healthful, body-and-mind restoring exercise that has been proven to help lift you out of addiction. With perseverance, and a bit of luck, your body will find its groove, pushing along your recovery and helping you live your best life. 

HIIT your Memory, Methods to prevent Alzheimer's

Those who know me understand I don't compromise when it comes to nutrition. Our bodies are holy vessels--why ever cheat your life with junk?

Eating a healthy diet of organic food, practicing gratitude and continually staying active is a recipe for healthy brain function as you age, particularly our memory.

Why is HIIT all the rage?

"Canadian researchers found high-intensity workouts helped boost memory by improving hippocampal function — a finding they say could prove to be an important prevention strategy against Alzheimer’s disease."

Further enhancing one's fitness level significantly increases brain-derived neurotropic factor, BDNF, a protein correlated to a dramatic reduction in Alzheimer's risk. Weekly HIIT routines promote neurogenesis, producing new neurons in the brain. Why does this matter? Because we can grow new brain cells and protect old ones from deterioration!

A recent scientific review concluded that aerobic exercise increases left hippocampal volume, leading to significant improvement in high-interference memory, the ability to seamlessly integrate new information with old.

Bonus:

Exercise also increases the metabolic signal that spikes mitochondrial biogenesis. This is paramount as your brain is the most mitochondrially-dense organ in your body. Mitochondria create ATP. This is the energy to power us through the day; reiterating why nutrition is so important. Feed the body properly and potentiate your energy. 

Life's too short for brain fog and low energy. Make the right choices and always optimize for longevity.

Life Balance

Nutrition

You eat well, you live well. Our bodies are holy vessels. Don't short change yourself with processed foods. Ensure proper diet with copious amounts of organic vegetables, healthy fats and nutrient dense proteins. Fruit is nature's dessert. Give yourself a pat on the back and indulge on occasion. 

Exercise

We define exercise as movement. Walking for some can be the best source of exercise. Power walking, better still. Point being whether training for a Triathalon or a beginner doing yoga, find time to be active. If you prioritize your oral health and brush your teeth daily, prioritize your body and brain health with exercise daily. Just 30 minutes a day can increase lifespan by 7 years.

Sleep

Perhaps the most overlooked component to our health, sleep. And not just regular sleep--deep, restorative sleep. How? By eating well timed meals, by exercising, by minimizing blue light at night, and by going to bed early when melatonin production is highest. Too often we sacrifice sleep for work. Instead, enhance your sleep and watch your energy levels rise and productivity increase.

Play

Science is on a mission to find the eternal elixir. If you want to retain your youth, incorporate more playful activities. Take time to do what you enjoy. Life's too short to always be serious. Laugh. LOVE. Learn.

Donate

In life, we must have a cause that is bigger than ourselves. By helping others we can find a sense of purpose. Be it a financial contribution or volunteering our time, we can strive to leave this world a better place.

Donating to Save Lives

We believe change starts with our youth. Sowing the seeds of growth requires proper tools when we are young. This includes basic needs like clothing and shelter while also providing healthcare, and education. This is why we chose Children International.  

They seek sponsors who take active roles in helping children both near and afar. Yes you can donate. But you can do so much more when you are able to write to a child and potentiate their needs. Children International allows you to visit your sponsored child and experience first hand how you can make a difference.

With 70+ community centers worldwide, your support creates ripple effects for generations. We at TBD are committed to giving back and seek others who share the same values of providing a better future for today's youth. Bring in a picture of your sponsored child and we'll reduce your monthly unlimited pass to just $68. 

Make a difference. Take action today.

Sponsor at: children.org

Get your Kitchfix at TBD Fitness

We are excited to partner with KitchFix for all our delivered meals. Why? Because they pride themselves on sourcing, local, organic ingredients. They take the hassle out of meal prep. Not to mention, the meals are both balanced and delicious.

We at TBD only team up with companies whose ethos is driven by quality for the consumer. We vet all our products and ensure our partnerships are those promoting sustainable change in our community.

Don't sacrifice your nutrition. You are what you eat. Try them out today!

Weights, Cardio, Or Both

We all want the most bang for our buck--then why not combine both. That's what we offer in our HIIT Fusion class. We challenge the body to make adaptations for strength by using weights and resistance and incorporate bouts of cardio to increase endurance. Greater strength gives rise to greater endurance.

To answer the question fairly, it depends on one's goal. It depends on one's sport. It depends on one's DNA. Training for your genotype increases efficiency by 600%. That's why we partnered with DNA Fit to unlock whether you're built for power or endurance.

Weights

Weight training allows the body to break down fat for energy and in turn promotes lean muscle growth. This increases our metabolism which further promotes fat loss. Weight bearing exercises prevent sarcopenia and improve bone density, which is crucial as we age. Weights are essential to strengthening connective tissue, tendons and muscles.

Cardio

Our heart is a muscle, so let's exercise it to our potential. The primary objective here is to elevate our heart rate, requiring faster delivery of oxygenated blood to our muscles, tissues and organs. Cardio is most effective at burning calories. Exercising our cardiovascular system also increases our metabolism and bone density. Studies show improvements in sleep quality of 65%. 

Deeper dive..

Anaerobic vs Aerobic

One must distinguish between the power and capacity of the system. The anaerobic systems have to be developed before the aerobic systems. In aerobic training, the power must be developed before the capacity. In aerobic training, the capacity must be trained before power. The greater the aerobic capacity, the lower the anaerobic power.

Aerobic interval training causes mainly two adaptations: increase in myoglobin for better storage of oxygen and an increase in the number, size, and activity of the mitochondria. Interval training increases our V02 max and training efficiency. The pause phase allows ATP and CP (creatine phosphate) to restore oxygen in the muscle. This further improves the aerobic capability of fast-twitch fibers.

Anaerobic system training boasts similar benefits. Biggest difference is you increase intensity (above 85%) and decrease duration (max 2 minutes). This creates EPOC (excess post exercise oxygen consumption) allowing for greater caloric burn up to nearly two days post workout.

In summary, life is about balance and the same is with fitness. An approach that trains both capacity and power is optimal for longevity.