Recovering from an addiction requires a lot of hard work and persistence. It pays to take whatever help you can get and to find ways to make yourself feel better when things get tough. Increasingly, addiction recovery professionals are recommending exercise to recovering addicts. The benefits of working out while overcoming an addiction are considerable, and many have been backed up in clinical studies. No one who has recovered from an addiction will tell you it was easy, but with the addition of regular exercise and other healthy habits, your odds of long-term success are sure to increase.
Studies Show Positive Impact of Exercise in Addiction Recovery
In recent years, several studies have demonstrated that adding exercise into an addiction treatment plan can dramatically improve recovery efforts. In fact, a study that was published in Mental Health and Physical Activity revealed that exercising can bring many exciting benefits to the table for those in recovery. In addition to improving your overall health, regular exercise can give you a strong sense of accomplishment and progress. In turn, your self-confidence is sure to improve as you see the many positive changes that regular exercise brings about.
Top Benefits of Exercise in Addiction Recovery
So, why are so many professionals using exercise in addiction recovery? Doing so provides many great benefits. For one thing, working out produces a natural high as endorphins and endocannabinoids flood the body. Although the “high” isn’t as intense as the effects of many drugs and alcohol, it is a wonderful feeling and it tends to linger long after the workout session has ended. Until you get properly conditioned, it may be difficult to notice those feelings of euphoria. By sticking with a routine, however, you will start to naturally crave the high that you get from a good, solid workout.
Better still, regular exercise helps to counteract some of the most stressful aspects of quitting drugs or alcohol. If you have been having trouble sleeping, for example, working out can help to tire you out so you sleep more soundly. Many recovering addicts gain weight, so adding exercise to your routine can help to ward off those extra pounds. Exercise can also work wonders for issues like anxiety and depression, which often flare up during the recovery process. Above all, regular exercise makes you look and feel so much better in general.
Exercising During Recovery
Addiction recovery professionals at places like Altus Treatment are increasingly recommending exercise to their clients. Many opt to track clients’ progress with healthcare data software, which makes it easier to see how much a person is benefiting from adding exercise to their routine.
Since every recovering addict is different, there is no “go-to” exercise to recommend. The best thing is to try lots of different activities to figure out which ones you truly enjoy. Whether you opt for a daily walk or run, or if you hit the gym for some strength training, you should eventually find activities that you can reliably sustain for the long haul. As your mind and body grow stronger from sobriety and exercise, you will rediscover passion for life and will wonder why you didn’t start exercising sooner.
A Worthwhile Addition to Addiction Recovery
Exercise is good for everyone, but it seems to have especially great benefits for recovering addicts. Regardless of where you are in the recovery process, incorporating a little exercise into your daily routine is sure to work wonders not only for your physical well-being but for your mental health too. Before you know it, you will be feeling great. Think of it as one more way to improve your health while recovering from an addiction.