There are no shortcuts on the journey to recovery. It takes hard work and determination to achieve long term sobriety, and there are no magic solutions. However, there are many tools that an individual in recovery can use to ease the way. Exercise is one of the most powerful. So what are some of the essential benefits of exercise in sobriety?
A Positive Way to Fill Time
Regular workouts keep you motivated, and help you to stay focused on recovery. Making exercise a priority in one’s daily schedule will keep one motivated. Exercise alleviates boredom and reduces stress, and keeps the cravings for drugs and alcohol at bay. Plus, you’ll have increased energy from the exercise which will propel you through the day.
One of the negative effects of drug addiction is on the body’s circadian rhythm, which regulates the sleep cycle. Once an individual starts exercising, his or her body slowly returns to a normal more healthy state, and the quality of sleep increases.
Warding Off Illness and Disease
Exercise is often called ‘nature’s best medicine’. Regular exercise gives a person an increased ability to ward off illnesses and disease by strengthening the immune system. Exercise also helps to regulate blood sugar and hormone levels, which wards off diabetes and some cancers. Additionally, exercise also sharpens the individual’s mental acuity, which lowers the risk of developing dementia.
In early recovery, individuals can often have trouble containing and managing their emotions. This is because drug and alcohol addiction significantly alters brain chemistry, and the way the individual handles emotions become skewed. Once the recovering individual is weaned off of substances, emotions that had been suppressed can feel overwhelming. Going for a run or lifting weights can help the individual manage anger and frustration without relapsing.
Stress is a common relapse trigger that individuals in recovery can succumb to. Instead of turning to substances to cope, turning to exercise is a healthy alternative. All forms of exercise release endorphins throughout your body. Often referred to as the brain’s “feel good chemical,” endorphins help improve mood.
Exercising does not have to be a complicated matter. One doesn’t need to buy expensive gym memberships or equipment to start working out. Exercising can be as simple as going running or even for a walk. There is no excuse not to get started with exercise in recovery.
The PAC Program offers a unique approach to addiction treatment. Our dedicated team of professionals focus on finding the right therapies and treatments for each individual, enabling each to reach their full potential.