Exercise: Good for the Body, Great for the Brain


April 2006 - Fresno TripPoint Reyes 052

We are all looking for that “miracle” experience that will infuse us with the power to reach our goals. For those striving to attain seemingly impossible achievements, such as recovering from an addiction, finding “recovery boosters” will be an essential part of the journey. Exercise is one of those powerful recovery tools, with multiple benefits.

In our sexual addictionfood addiction treatment programs, exercise is one of the “Dailies” (daily habits) we recommend. Dr Kelly McGonigal’s video entitled “Brain Science – A Miracle Cure For Willpower” provides an excellent explanation of how exercise is helpful for those in recovery.

In the video, Dr McGonigal describes exercise as a “willpower miracle”, based on the current science. We all know that exercise has positive effects on us physically and emotionally. But as this video explains, exercise has a significant effect on us neurologically as well.

In our popular article on How Pornography Use Effects the Brain, the science was explained about how addiction negatively affects the pre-frontal cortex of the brain, leading to many problems, including “compulsivity, impulsivity, and impaired judgment”. Dr Kelly McGonigal describes how exercise strengthens the pre-frontal cortex, increasing willpower. Thus, for those in recovery, it is necessary to not only stop the addictive behavior but to also consistently practice specific brain strengthening activities, such as exercise, leading to neurological changes that improve recovery outcomes. It is our hope that those in the process of healing will benefit from these findings and enjoy the recovery-boosting effects of exercise as part of their regular routines. May this powerful tool lead to increased strength in difficult moments, laying the foundation for a life-time of meaningful changes.

How to Exercise Your Brain…

CLICK HERE to read about another way to “Strengthen the Brain to Resist Relapse

-Written by Forest Benedict, MA, SATP-C, LifeSTAR of the Central Valley

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About fbenedict

Forest Benedict is the author of Life After Lust: Stories & Strategies for Sex & Pornography Addiction Recovery. He is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and certified Sexual Addiction Treatment Provider (SATP). Forest loves the work he does as the Clinical Director of LifeSTAR of the Central Valley and the Program Manager/Teacher in the SATP program at Mid-America Nazarene University. He writes numerous articles on the LifeSTAR of the Central Valley blog (https://lifestarcentralvalley.wordpress.com/) and also on his personal blog (http://forestbenedict.com/). He created the Life After Lust VLOG on Youtube, sharing insights about recovery from sexual addiction. Forest also writes and speaks publicly about protecting children from pornography.
This entry was posted in Addiction, Change, Recovery, Science, Self-care, Sexual Addiction and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Exercise: Good for the Body, Great for the Brain

  1. fbenedict says:

    Reblogged this on Write Forest Write and commented:

    Here’s a practical article I wrote for LifeSTAR that explains how exercise changes the brain, strengthening recovery.

  2. Kevin Jacobs says:

    i AM 3 Years + into my recovery from alcohol addiction.Part of my recovery programme is to exercise at least 5 times a week.My longer runs(15-20 k) are fantastic for my well being. Exercise and good diet are essential tools for me in my recovery programme.

    • fbenedict says:

      That’s great Kevin! Thanks for sharing that. It sounds like you are really enjoying the benefits of exercise in your recovery. I agree, it is an essential part of recovery.

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