Physical strength leads to better performance of both the body and mind. When your body is stronger it performs better — so long as you are not incurring injury. Additionally, greater physical strength creates greater mental strength.

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.