3. STRENGTH CONDITIONING
There can be no doubt that the physical process of strength training translates into psychological benefits and protect brain from negative thoughts/emotions. Strength conditioning can be a very powerful tool in addiction recovery because the physical ritual takes 20-30 minutes twice weekly. Intensity of strength-conditioning exercises is key to increasing levels of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a neuropeptide messenger elaborated by the brain in response to safe physiologic overload and which produces short-term euphoria, lower anxiety levels, and increases to a person’s threshold for pain. This is correlative with increases in our brain’s organic opioids and endocannabinoid concentrations, which are the brain’s natural cannabis-like molecules. In addition to stimulating muscle & bone growth, the BDNF protein promotes the growth of brain tissue in the pre-frontal cortex—the area of our brain responsible for regulating behavior and conceptual learning—and the hippocampus—the area associated with memory.