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Can addiction be good?

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Healthy Trucking

Can addiction be good?

I have written before about my food addiction, and yes, there really is such a thing. Because of the responses of our endocrine systems, sugar, for example, gives us a short rush. But after 20 minutes it is metabolized and our systems crash, leaving us to crave more. Even our taste buds can only be satisfied by feeding the craving.
     The psychological and physical forces gang up on us, and unless we are motivated and equipped to resist, we helplessly succumb to the cravings. We are left with a temporary feeling of satisfaction and instant gratification, but that feeling replaces other, longer-term feelings of satisfaction we could enjoy. We often get depressed because when we don’t have the rush, we feel like something is missing. We feel hunger, but not necessarily in our stomachs. We feel it on our tongues and in our brains. Our systems are out of balance. Motivation to do other things is relinquished. We gain weight quickly. We develop insulin resistance. We get sick easier and don’t have the physical stamina to simply stay awake.
     On the flip side, if we just psych ourselves up to start doing things differently, our chemistry responds favorably. Just getting started is the important thing.
     We need to make a conscious effort to introduce as much nutrition-rich food into our bodies as we possibly can. Instead of grabbing that bag of chips or pack of donuts, grab one of those precut vegetable trays or the oranges, apples and bananas that are on the racks by the fuel desk. That is step one. At first it doesn’t seem like a satisfying substitute, but in a short time your body will start to crave such things instead.
     Exercise releases “feel good” endorphins. These are chemicals released into our bloodstream from various glands that give us a “fix,” as it were. As more oxygen-rich blood flows through our brain, the brain responds by instructing our glands to release these healing chemicals. When we exercise correctly, we’re actually straining our muscles, and they in turn need to rebuild. And they always rebuild stronger. This helps dispel toxins that collect in our cells.
     If we stop exercising, after being into it for a while, we feel that same depression feeling and need to restart in order to satisfy that craving. It is an actual addiction that occurs. It is both physical and psychological. And it is good. Why is it good? Exercise increases protective cholesterol in our blood. It decreases fatigue, combats depression, reduces blood sugar levels and insulin resistance, increases brain function, builds immunity, builds stronger bones and among other things, reduces body fat.
     For more information, see my Web site: safetythruwellness.com. 
     Jack Kelsh is an over-the-road professional driver and a certified sports nutritionist.