We all know we are supposed to exercise to keep in shape and maintain good health but learn how it can it help with addiction recovery and lasting sobriety…
Research has shown that balance in sobriety is key, which includes a spiritual, emotional, mental and physical component. Alcohol and drug addiction takes a toll on the body, wreaking havoc on both emotional and physical well-being. It is critical to reestablish the mind-body connection for lasting addiction recovery.
Primary benefits from exercise during addiction recovery
- Exercise relieves and reduces tension and stress. Moving your body allows you to get rid of any negative emotions you have been keeping in. Focused exercise uses both physical and emotional energy, that you might otherwise find unhealthy ways of escaping.
- Exercise naturally and positively affects your brain chemistry. It releases endorphins, creating a natural high – the same endorphins the body releases when you abused chemicals. Dedicated physical activity during addiction recovery will help you reintroduce natural levels of endorphins into your system. It reteaches your body that it is capable of regulating your own brain chemistry and mood in healthy, natural ways.
- By concentrating on physical activity, 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.
- Studies show that exercise and physical activity can actually help return dopamine levels to pre-abuse heights.
- Exercise improves your outlook. Increased self-confidence and optimism ensue, reducing feelings of depression and anxiety. Exercise can lead to feelings of pride and self-worth and help you feel more accomplished as you reach your goal of continued sobriety.
- Exercise inspires goal setting and motivation to change.
- It develops both internal and external strength.
As unique as alcohol and drug addiction may be, different exercises affect the mind and body differently. Yoga is often introduced in addiction recovery as it focuses on strengthening the body and introduces meditation. Hiking/walking can help stave off cravings when they arise. Many addicts who suffer from insomnia benefit from weight training as it ca help reboot the body’s sleep cycle over time. Team sports offer not only comradery, but can boost self-confidence during recovery, all while releasing dopamine in the brain. In a nutshell, it is essential to find some form of physical activity that you enjoy, either alone or with a group that can help.