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Exercise and Addiction: 7 Benefits of Working Out for Recovery

Exercise and Addiction: 7 Benefits of Working Out for Recovery

If you or someone you love has ever battled addiction, you know that it’s a battle you have to fight with your entire body. Your mind and both are both impacted by the effects of drug addiction. Once you stop using your drug of choice, your body starts to feel sick, depressed, anxious, and even more sensitive to stress than before.

But battling drug addiction doesn’t always have to be a fight uphill. Exercise and addiction treatment can work together to give you the life you deserve after addiction. Keep reading to learn how you can fight addiction with diet and exercise.

  1. Helps You Stick to a Schedule

The number one way that exercise can help you stay in recovery is that it gives you a brand new routine. When you start to work out, it’s best to do it on a schedule. This helps make sure that you get to the gym, or wherever you’re doing your workouts, each day no matter what is going on in your life.

When you’re in recovery, that sense of security is necessary to help keep you from relapsing.

  1. Keeps Your Attitude Positive

It’s a well-known fact that exercise releases endorphins. With that boost of endorphins, you’ll notice that your attitude starts to change.

Additionally, when you stick to an exercise routine, you will start to see a change in your body. You’ll be able to see the results of your hard work and come to appreciate the person in the mirror.

Sticking to a diet and exercise plan isn’t easy. Sticking to your recovery isn’t easy either. But when you focus on both, you’re investing time and energy into your long-term health.

  1. Reduces Stress & Improve Mood

As you exercise and release endorphins, you’ll notice something miraculous happen. You’ll suddenly start to stress less.

Stress is one of the main reasons why people in recovery start to relapse. If you don’t learn how to manage life’s stress, you’re setting yourself up for failure.

When you increase your physical activity, you’re releasing feel-good chemicals to the brain and improving your circulation. Both of these things work to reduce your stress levels.

Another great benefit of exercise is that your mood will start to improve. While you’re in recovery, it’s only to be expected that your mood will change and fluctuate. You’re being asked to get rid of one of your major coping mechanisms and that’s difficult.

Adding an exercise routine to your life in recovery could be the thing that helps you manage it.

  1. Better Sleep

Another benefit of exercising is that it will improve your sleep. It’s common to have difficulty sleeping when you’re recovering from addiction. Many people start using drugs to help them sleep when they’re in pain or having a hard time resting.

Even moderate amounts of exercise during the day can help set you up for a good night’s sleep.

  1. Increases Energy

When you think about adding exercise to an already busy schedule, the last thing you’re expecting is to get more energy from it. Isn’t exercise supposed to leave you feeling tired afterward?

That’s true, but you’ll also get a ton of energy later on. It may take a few days to start to experience the energizing effects of exercise, but once you get started you won’t be able to stop.

Some runners experience a phenomenon called a “runner’s high” where, after running long distances, they experience a sense of euphoria while they run and their body leads the way.

  1. Improved Immune System

One of the worst symptoms of drug and alcohol withdrawal is the feeling of sickness that comes when you quit. One of the main reasons why people with addiction have such a hard time getting sober is that they’re afraid of the sickness that comes with it.

While exercise won’t help you deal with withdrawal symptoms, it will help to improve your immune system to prevent your chances of getting sick like that in the future.

Regular exercise can also help protect you from cancer, heart disease, diabetes, stroke, depression, osteoporosis, and many other serious conditions.

  1. Relapse Prevention

Lastly, a regular exercise program can help prevent relapsing.

Relapse is a normal part of recovery.

It’s important to note here that no amount of exercise will ever be a replacement for proper drug and alcohol treatment. If you or someone you love is battling addiction, the first thing you should do is find a recovery center near you and get enrolled as soon as possible.

Once you’ve gone through the program and are taking active steps in maintaining sobriety, a regular workout routine will help you stay on the right track.

When you’re feeling better, sleeping better, on a schedule, and are maintaining a positive attitude, you’re much less likely to relapse.

Exercise and Addiction: What Workouts Are Best?

Now you know the reasons why exercise and addiction recovery go hand in hand. Now let’s take a look at what exercises are best for someone recovering from drug addiction.

First, make sure that you’re following your doctor’s orders. Don’t get into exercise routines that are bad for your body or that could cause you pain. Pain management is another common relapse trigger.

Running, biking, swimming, hiking, yoga, cardio, and aerobic classes are all great, entry-level activities that you can get into when you’re looking for something to do when you’re recovering.

Exercise as a Drug Addiction Treatment

When you’re in recovery, you can use exercise and addiction support groups to help get you through difficult times in your recovery. You can use exercise as a way to stay on a schedule and a way to help you relieve stress on the days you’re tempted to pick your bad habits up again. There’s nothing wrong with replacing a bad habit with a good one!

For more information on how to live your healthiest life, keep reading!

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