Addiction can be tough to overcome, and it proves impossible for some people for a number of reasons. One of the reasons rehabilitation programs are so successful is because they take an immersion-style approach and force addicts to focus on their own wellbeing. A holistic approach to addiction is often the case, and this can include eating well-balanced meals, getting enough sleep, counseling, therapy, and even fitness. There is a lot of evidence to suggest that incorporating fitness into a rehab program can increase the likelihood of success for addicts. Here is how recovering addicts can use fitness as an outlet on the road to recovery.
Exercise Creates a Rush
You’ve heard of the runner’s high, right? Well, it’s no secret that exercise releases chemicals in the body that makes you feel great for extended periods of time. Addicts can use exercise as a way to distract themselves from the symptoms of withdrawal, help them become stronger over time, and improve their well-being. The “rush” that exercise can give addicts can help them focus their energies on feeling good, instead of seeking that good feeling from drugs or alcohol.
Variety is the Spice of Life
When it comes to incorporating fitness into a rehabilitation program, many programs offer a routine that includes different types of exercises. For example, walking just 15 minutes a day can clear your mind, improve brain function, and reduce cravings. Yoga can improve flexibility and strengthen muscles to improve recovery functions. And a friendly game of hoops can improve stability and create connections for long-term recovery success through friendships and networking.
Sweating Out the Bad Stuff
Not only does exercise release “feel good” chemicals in the body, but it also helps rid the body of harmful toxins that have been brought on by addiction and withdrawal. Exercising to the point where you are sweating, even moderately, can rid your body of things it doesn’t need. This can help with the recovery process, strengthen cardiovascular muscles, and improve a person’s well-being ten-fold.
Sometimes, addicts can be left with debilitating injuries or loss of function as a result of drug or alcohol use. Incorporating fitness into a regular rehab routine can help improve coordination and improve muscle function, which in turn, can improve the likelihood of physical recovery, as well as mental recovery. Think of exercise as physiotherapy: every time you work out, you are building on the last exercise routine to become stronger and more capable of dealing with your addiction.
If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, consider talking to them about how exercise and fitness routines can help improve their lives. Better yet, helping people to find a rehab program that incorporates fitness into their recovery plan can provide a well-rounded approach to getting well. Recovery is never easy, but it is always worth it. Find a rehab center near you to discuss your needs today.