Did you know that exercising helps to ease cravings for drugs and other substances? Some research have shown that exercise plays a huge role in addiction recovery and people who exercise are less likely to abuse drugs, alcohol and other substances because it stimulates reward centers in our brain.
Gretchen Reynolds ,a columnist of the New York Times, recently wrote about a new research. In the study, cocaine-addicted mice were the subjects, it has been observed that dedicated exercise may in some cases make it harder to break the addiction.
The study was conducted by the Beckman Institute for advanced science and technology at the university of Illinois. They observed two different groups of mice: the first group was left in a room where they ran and then they were introduced to cocaine. The second group was sedentary and introduced to cocaine. Both groups became addicted but when they were left to choose where they stay, they noticed that the first group ( the addicted exercisers) recovered from addiction slowly or never recovered but the sedentary group quickly recovered after they started exercising.
So how did they interpret the study? Justin S. Rhodes, a professor of psychology at the University of Illinois and an author, with Martina L. Mustroph and others, of the study, published in the European Journal of Neuroscience say that the study implies that an addiction acquired while exercising is difficult to shed. But the main idea of the result is that exercise affects learning: “Fundamentally, the results are encouraging,” Dr. Rhodes says. They show that by doubling the production of robust, young neurons, “exercise improves associative learning.” In other word, exercise encourages learning but the brain does not differentiate good habits from bad habits.
In conclusion, I hope that this does not alert you in any case. I believe that the bottom line of the study is that excercise is good for you but be mindful of what habits you undertake while exercising. As Dr. Rhodes put it: “you do create a greater capacity to learn, and it’s up to each individual to use that capacity wisely.”