Recovery from addiction is a difficult process. When you’re making positive changes, such as breaking free of drugs and alcohol, you often need all the help you can get. One of your best tools for staying sober isn’t found in a therapy room. Research confirms that maintaining an active lifestyle can put — and keep — you on track and help you stay strong in the face of temptation. Here’s how.
Fitness Changes Your Body from the Inside
If you think that exercise is only good for building muscle mass, think again. Physical activity affects everything from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet. When you exercise, your oxygen capacity is increased, your heart becomes more efficient, and increased blood flow to the brain alters certain cell functions to offer you added protection against everything from stroke to Parkinson disease. Huffington Post reports that regular exercise can also ease the strain on your joints, which can reduce pain and make you less likely to seek relief elsewhere.
Of course, before you begin any fitness routine while in recovery, it’s important to swing by your family doctor for a wellness exam to check for any potential health risks. Fortunately for seniors enrolled in Medicare, you can receive one free wellness visit per year. However, keep in mind that this is completely different from the “Welcome to Medicare” visit your doctor scheduled after you enrolled in Medicare Part B. Once you’ve been given the all-clear by your physician, you can begin putting together a solid, healthy routine.
People in Group Fitness Classes Become Your Support Network
While many exercises put you in a state of mind to go solo, group fitness programs can open a whole new world of social activity. When you’re active with a group, the people within that group naturally shape your day. They become a source of encouragement and support, something the American Psychological Association says is important for overall mental health and well-being.
Being Healthy Makes You Stronger
In addition to making you strong, being healthy can also boost your self-control and help you discover the willpower to avoid bad situations. The Brain Flux reports that exercise stimulates the brain’s frontal lobe, which is responsible for higher thinking and reasoning. Exercise is also an excellent way to relieve stress and anxiety.
Exercise Begins a Domino Effect of Healthy Choices
When you start paying attention to physical activities, you’ll notice changes in your body, mind, and energy levels. These changes will encourage you to make other healthy choices to keep you moving towards your wellness goals. You will likely learn how things such as sleep, healthy eating and even home organization play a part in boosting your mental and physical health.
Exercise Is a Distraction That Can Keep Your Mind Off Drugs during recovery from addiction
When you first began to use, you likely did so for a number of reasons. Pain, depression or boredom may have factored into your decision to experiment with drugs or alcohol. Exercise can take your mind to new places and can keep you focused long enough to overcome things that draw you toward your addiction.
Now that you know the benefits associated with exercise and its role in Recovery from Addiction, you may be tempted to jump headfirst into a fitness routine. However, in order to be effective, your new healthy lifestyle must be sustainable. Take the time to experiment with cardiovascular and strength training exercises. You may find that you prefer cycling or water aerobics over dance classes or jogging. Your exercise program has to be an enjoyable activity that you look forward to otherwise it becomes a chore that you’ll make excuses to ignore.
Although exercising is definitely a good thing, you still need to set aside time for relaxation. In fact, rest days are extremely important when you’re trying to improve your body, as overdoing it can do major harm to your muscles. So, set aside a place in your home where you can spend some quality time alone where you can just empty your mind. To get you started in the right direction, Chopra.com has a helpful guide for setting up meditation space in your home.
Exercise is just one component of a healthy lifestyle. However, it’s an activity that can be integrated into your daily routine and built upon with other healthy habits. You don’t have to let drugs and alcohol control your life. Talk to your doctor or therapist about how exercise and other supplemental treatment methods can keep you clean and sober for a whole and healthy life.
Help with Recovery from Addiction in Philadelphia
If you are looking for professional help during your Recovery from Addiction phase in Philadelphia contact our center (267) 284-4143 and meet Dr. Tsan and discuss your best options.
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