When you start a recovery program, exercise may be the last thing on your mind. While you are trying to maintain sobriety and fight off withdrawals, working-out may seem nearly impossible, but daily exercise can have some pretty amazing benefits for recovering addicts. Whether you run, pick up a sport, or simply go on a daily walk, you improve your chances of having a successful addiction recovery.
Sedentary lifestyles can make you prone to stress. Whether you are at work, in a classroom, or at home, sitting builds tension in your body, making it difficult to process emotion. Exercise releases some of that pent-up tension and bottled-up emotion, making us feel physically, mentally, and emotionally well. In a recovery program, you are sure to face some stressful situations, but through exercise, you give your stress an outlet.
Exercise releases endorphins, providing a “natural high.” When you initially take drugs, your brain releases endorphins, dopamine, and other “pleasure” chemicals – which is one of the reasons why drugs are so addictive. When you abuse drugs, your brain is no longer able to release pleasure chemicals naturally, making you feel depressed and lethargic. By giving yourself a new, healthy way to release endorphins, you can start to feel happy and confident again.
The physical effects of drug withdrawal can cause insomnia and restlessness, making sleep a challenge during your recovery program. Exercise acts as a way to naturally exhaust your body and mind which regulates your circadian rhythm and gives you a sound night’s rest. With a reliable sleep cycle, you are more inclined to feel energized and motivated throughout the day, making the addiction recovery process easier.
Heals Your Body After Drug Use
Extended drug and alcohol abuse can take a toll on your health, depleting your body of nutrients and raising your risk for certain diseases. Through exercise, you gradually heal and rebuild your body to counteract some the side-effects of addiction. Whether you hope to lose weight, gain muscle, or simply feel well again, exercise is key to your physical health.