Human beings have evolved to be in motion. A sedentary lifestyle is contrary to human nature and bad for our brains. Exercising through and out of stressful situations is what we, as human beings, have been conditioned to do by hundreds of thousands of years of evolution. Today, the average person expends only 38 percent of the energy that our prehistoric ancestors once did.
At Cottonwood Tucson’s Arizona behavioral health and addiction rehab, we appreciate the fact that physical activity is key in attaining physical and emotional balance and is also necessary for optimizing the brain’s ability to think well and produce a calm and happy mood. In our treatment programs, we have found that exercise has been proven to increase the activity of dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin, the brain’s primary mood-regulating chemical messengers. A skillful exercise regime allows those who suffer from addictions and mood disorders to positively affect the biological component of mood and emotional difficulties.
Our recreational therapists help Cottonwood’s patients – even those with physical and medical limitations – develop an exercise regime that can trigger the release of chemicals that stimulate the growth of new brain tissue. And, just like exercise facilitates the growth of muscle tissue, aerobic activity – especially activity that involves complex and skillful physical coordination – can trigger neurogenesis, the growth of new brain tissue. Even playing games and solving puzzles can help to optimize this process – which is why we strive to incorporate mental and physical exercise in our Arizona holistic treatment program.