Neglect to oneself often comes with the territory of drug and alcohol abuse. This not only wreaks havoc on physical well being but emotional as well. During addiction recovery, not only is it important to repair the psychological and physical damage of chemical dependency but also the damaged mind-body connection. Below are 5 outstanding reasons to incorporate an exercise routine into your daily addiction recovery treatment plan.
1. Exercise reduces stress: Exercise has been shown to alleviate both physical and psychological stress. Moving your body alleviates tension, and allows you to get rid of any negative emotions you have been keeping in. Focused exercise uses both physical and emotional energy, that might otherwise find unhealthy ways of escaping.
2. Exercise positively alters your brain chemistry: When you exercise, your body releases endorphins which create a natural high. These are the same endorphins your body released while you abused substances. However, abuse of drugs and alcohol causes an imbalance that interferes with a person’s ability to feel pleasure, happiness, and satisfaction. Dedicated physical activity during treatment and recovery will help you reintroduce natural levels of endorphins in your system. This not only helps you feel better, but reteaches your body that it is capable of regulating your own brain chemistry and mood in healthy, natural ways.
3. Exercise improves your outlook: Those who exercise regularly report increased feelings of self-confidence and optimism and reduced feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress. This is in part has to do with the body regulating itself during exercise, but it also has to do with feelings of accomplishment and self worth as you see your body transform and your goals reached. As you reach certain benchmarks you feel more accomplished, which reinforces the goal of continued sobriety.
4. *“Exercise is meditation in motion.”: The Mayo Clinic described exercise as “meditation in motion,” meaning “by concentrating on the physical we can experience the psychological and emotional benefits of meditation. Through movement, we can refocus our thoughts on our own well-being and forget, at least briefly, all that is going on in our lives. You may leave your work-out with a clearer mind, feeling more rejuvenated and optimistic”. Finding this clarity within chaos can make recovery much more manageable.
5. Exercise helps you to meet other like-minded individuals: Creating a network of sober friends can sometimes be daunting for those in recovery. Exercise can play an important role in allowing new friendships to begin and blossom. Finding like minded fitness enthusiasts to positively influence you will assists in the transition of leaving your old life behind and moving forward with your new one.
If you or a loved one is suffering with drug or alcohol addiction, R.O.A.D To A Better life can help. Please call 603.841.2307 to speak to our new patient consult team.
*Information was taken from published studies from www.mayoclinic.org