Can something as simple as exercise control drug cravings? Past findings lead experts to believe that it can. In fact, it’s common for a rehab center to include exercise therapy among its other services. With that said, how does it help people who struggle with addiction?
What Is Exercise Therapy?
To start with, it’s important to have a firm grasp on what an exercise therapy program is. As the name suggests, it involves incorporating physical activities into a treatment plan to reach therapeutic goals.
Keep in mind that exercise therapy has several names. One rehab facility may refer to it as activity-based therapy, while another may call it fitness therapy. In any case, these terms still refer to therapy that involves exercise.
Studies Prove That Exercise Reduces Drug Cravings
Exercise makes people and animals feel good. In fact, some studies show that animals have fewer cravings for drugs after they exercise. One animal study involving rats found that swimming reduced voluntary morphine consumption. Also, the drug-dependent rats with access to an exercise wheel didn’t consume as much cocaine.
When experts applied these findings to humans, men who exercised three times a week had fewer drug cravings. Out of the nearly 40 people who participated in the study, 20 completed the intervention.
A year later, five of them reported that they no longer used drugs. A further ten reported that they had significantly reduced the number of drugs that they take. All of these results came from exercise therapy. Imagine the effect that it could have on people who undergo traditional therapy as well.
Reasons to Participate in an Exercise Therapy Program
Exercising clearly has a positive effect on people and animals, but why? Understanding the benefits of exercise therapy can help people see why exercise is good both physically and mentally.
The first reason is that it reduces stress. In fact, stress is one of the leading causes of relapse. Sometimes, it’s the reason why people start using drugs in the first place.
However, exercise reduces both physical and mental stress. Part of the reason is the endorphins that the brain releases during physical activity.
Also, a recreational therapy program gets people to spend more time outside. It’s a positive way for them to boost their mood and counter mental problems such as depression. Such underlying illnesses are leading causes of drug abuse too.
Lastly, an exercise therapy program can reduce pain. Finding natural ways to reduce pain is important for people who struggle with addiction. The reason is that they can’t rely on addictive prescription painkillers.
Get Therapy You Can Count on at San Antonio Recovery Center
Are you looking for Texas addiction rehab programs that incorporate exercise therapy? If so, consider getting help at San Antonio Recovery Center. We take great pride in offering reliable services that you can count on. We want to help you overcome addiction and make sure that it never comes back.
As part of our ongoing effort to provide the best addiction treatment possible, we offer many addiction therapy services. Our goal is to custom tailor your treatment plan to fit your individual needs. We know that no two people are the same, and we take that into account while creating your treatment plan. A few of the programs that we provide include:
- 12-step rehab
- Gender-specific rehab
- 90-day programs
- Intensive outpatient rehab
- Residential rehab
- Aftercare treatment
Don’t settle for rehab centers that only offer traditional forms of therapy. Visit us to take advantage of a wide range of services, including exercise therapy. Reach out to San Antonio Recovery Center today at 866.957.7885.