Exercise is typically an important element of a quality addiction recovery program. Clients at Cold Creek Behavioral Health participate in a recovery based work out program called Fit2Recover or FTR. We encourage our clients to include exercising in their recovery after completing treatment. Many people who abuse drugs and alcohol neglect regular healthy habits, and the substances significantly alter the mind-body connection. Addiction recovery and exercise are components that make up a great combination for the following reasons.
Exercise Positively Affects Mood
Drug and alcohol abuse cause a mental imbalance that impedes the user’s ability to experience happiness, pleasure, and fulfillment. By exercising at our rehabilitation center and upon returning to the community, the body begins to reintroduce natural endorphin levels that create a natural high. These endorphins not only improve the person’s mood but regulate brain chemistry. Providing options for the body to release endorphins without the consumption of alcohol or drugs is an important part of recovery.
Exercise Lowers Stress Levels
Exercise and addiction recovery also go hand in hand because working out reduces stress naturally. Research shows that exercise relieves mental and physical stress, both of which accumulate in situations, such as having a negative interaction with a friend or sitting improperly in a chair at work. When the body is in motion, tension dissipates and negative emotions can escape in a healthy way.
Exercise Reduces Health Risks
Help keep medical conditions like diabetes and heart disease at bay by exercising regularly. Exercise won’t just extend the life of a now-sober person who is in good shape, it will enables him or her to continue to participate in a range of physical activities as they age.
Exercise Boosts Confidence
Exercise burns calories, helping the addict shed extra weight. Looking good is often linked with feeling good. The boost in confidence that comes with exercising is particularly useful for recovering individuals since addicts tend to have poor self-esteem and bring this lack of confidence into recovery with them. When an addict believes in him- or herself, he or she is more likely to stay clean and sober with fewer risks of relapse.
Cold Creek Behavioral Health recommends that addicts speak with their doctor before starting an exercise regimen in recovery, particularly if they suffer from a medical condition. Regular exercise, rather than sporadic activity, provides the greatest benefits for mind and body. Motivating oneself to workout each day also fosters self-discipline, which will benefit the recovering addict in terms of rehabilitation and achieving other goals.