Importance Of Exercise In Addiction Recovery

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Drugs and alcohol addiction do a lot of damage to the patient’s physical and emotional health. But regular exercises, as part of the recovery process, helps the body and mind to heal faster, overcome cravings and triggers during treatment and restore balance to the body’s system.

Routine exercises may not be a favourite pastime but, when undergoing addiction treatment, regular workouts or any physical activity has been statistically proven to strengthen the effects of recovery. Yet, exercises don’t have to be complicated, and could be something as simple as walking for 30 minutes a day for several days in a week.

The Benefits

It Heals Your Body And Brain

Studies show clearly that physical fitness has a good, lasting effect on your body, whether you’re undertaking a recovery session or not. It also improves cardio-vascular health, strengthens the immune system, helps lessen depression symptoms and reduces the risk of diabetes, and some types of cancers.

Healthier Sleep Patterns

It is a known fact that one of the commonest effects of drug abuse and withdrawal symptoms are insomnia, fatigue, drowsiness, restlessness and other sleep issues as drugs and alcohol impair the normal sleep pattern. Exercise greatly helps to reverse these complications and patients will be pleasantly surprised to discover how they’re able to easily rest or sleep soundly, waking up at the right time feeling refreshed and invigorated.

Stress Relief

Exercising has a fantastic capacity to rid your body of stress levels that build up from various activities and interactions during the day, along with all negative emotions that go with them. Also by cutting back on the body’s stress levels, the urge to seek escape in drugs or alcohol or the chances of relapse during recovery is significantly diminished.

Restores The Balance Of The Brain Chemistry

Exercising and using drugs or alcohol share similar effects in the way they trigger the release of endorphins by the body to create a feeling of high. However, while exercises produce a natural, healthy high, substance abuse distorts the normal functioning of the brain to achieve a caricature of that effect. Sustained drug use, therefore, unbalances the brain chemistry and interferes with a person’s capacity to feel pleasure, joy and satisfaction. Disciplined exercise routine helps reintroduce the natural levels of endorphins in the system, making the patient feel better and re-teaches that it is capable to naturally and healthily regulate the brain chemistry and mood.

Exercise Is ‘Meditation In Motion’

The Mayo Clinic ingeniously describes exercise as “meditation in motion,” comparing it to the psychological and emotional fulfilment we feel when we exercise our minds through meditation. By moving our body, we are able to refocus our thoughts on the need to feel healthy and momentarily forget everything else going on in our lives. This allows the individual to have a clearer mind, feel more alive and optimistic and be able to better manage the recovery process.

Exercise Improves Your General Outlook

People who exercise regularly report that their self-confidence, self-esteem and feeling of self-worth is boosted after every round of workout. This general optimistic and positive outlook helps fight off negative emotions like depression and anxiety, and has to do in part with the body self-regulating and self-calibrating during the exercise. It also has to with the feelings of accomplishment and pride as the individual delights in how their body is transformed and their set goals reached.

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