When you’re caught up in the world of addiction, it’s easy to neglect your health. Not only do you suffer physically, but emotionally and socially as well. And there’s no denying that the recovery process is tough. Thankfully, there are many healthy ways to cope with your addiction. Exercise is one that can boost all aspects of your well-being. Here are four reasons to begin your own fitness revolution as you learn to maintain your sobriety.
1. Exercise has been proven to relieve stress. While pounding the pavement and pumping iron seems like it would add stress to a time already ripe with anxiety, nothing could be further from the truth. US News & World Report confirms that exercise has a positive effect on the mind that rivals its effects on the body. Stress is a common relapse trigger so it makes sense that a healthy fitness routine can help you avoid this dangerous state of mind.
2. Exercise changes your brain. Here’s a little science lesson: physical activities, such as walking, jogging, swimming, and lifting weights, tell your brain you’re doing something good. Your brain, in return, thanks your body by cranking up its production of endorphins, which are a group of hormones that can be stronger than morphine. As neurotransmitters, endorphins work on the brain’s opiate receptors to block pain and create a sense of sustained euphoria.
3. Exercise promotes positive relationships. The funny thing about exercise is that no matter where you do it, there always seems to be someone else doing the same thing. Take a quick jog around the neighborhood and you’ll no doubt pass half a dozen other weekend warriors pounding the pavement. Head to the gym, and you’ll find yourself smack in the middle of a society of people working toward their own wellness goals. Dance, martial arts and other types of fitness classes give you access to a social network, a support system you’ll never find at the bottom of a bottle.
4. Exercise improves self-esteem. You already know that exercise can help you lose weight and build muscle, but these things combined can also improve your self-esteem. The Online Journal of Sports Psychology recently published a study conducted by Bishop’s University. Researchers studied data collected by more than 125 students through university age. It was found that those who engage in regular exercise had more self-confidence and self-esteem than those who stayed stagnant most of the time. Many psychologists believe that low self-esteem acts as an open invitation to substance abuse disorders.
Despite all of its positive benefits, not all exercise programs are the right exercise program. Whichever type of fitness routine you choose should be based on a combination of your overall health, physical abilities and likes. If you’ve never really worked your muscles, walking is one of the best entry-level exercises you can do and it comes with the added benefit of being accessible from almost everywhere. Weight and balance training and cardiovascular exercises are also important and work to keep your body strong and your lungs healthy respectively. Plexus offers more tips on how to find the right workout.
Exercise is part of an all-around healthy routine and, when implemented correctly, can be part of your long-term recovery plan. Consider waking up 30 minutes early each morning to workout or find a partner and go for a jog. After all, you found time to prioritize your unhealthy habits, you can find the time to swap them with healthy ones.
For more information, visit Rehab Holistics Webpage.