Can you go from drug ad­dic­tion to lin­ing up for a marathon?

Runner's World South Africa - - HUMAN RACE -

“Sub­stance abusers could use run­ning as a dis­trac­tion, in or­der to re­duce the need for formerly addictive be­hav­iours. Run­ning in­creases our happy hor­mones, and it’s fair to say that it could be a vi­tal tool for re­cov­er­ing ad­dicts,” says An­drea Keller­man (a sports psy­chol­o­gist who spe­cialises in neu­ro­feed­back and guided vi­su­al­i­sa­tion peak-per­for­mance train­ing for the mind).

“Ad­dic­tion can be over­come by teach­ing the per­son al­ter­na­tive, dis­trac­tive be­hav­iours. The more we fol­low al­ter­na­tive be­hav­iours, the more a new path­way in our brain can be cre­ated, which leads to re­in­force­ment. But our be­hav­iours have to be­come rou­tine to oc­cur nat­u­rally, and they can be changed within three to six weeks.”

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