About 60% of people in recovery are likely to use substances again within a year. Researchers are, therefore, trying to find ways that can help prevent a relapse. Exercise is one of those ways that has been found to aid one in their recovery. When paired with other forms of treatment like support groups and therapy, it can help an individual cope with recovery. Discussed below are some of the ways that exercise helps one stay sober.
Helps Curb Cravings
Anyone with a history of abusing substances like opioids, cocaine, cannabis, and amphetamines can benefit from exercising regularly. Research has found that people who exercise often have an increased number of abstinent days. Working causes your heart to pump blood quicker, increasing the number of nutrients and oxygen flowing through the body. In return, your body grows stronger, increasing your capacity to produce energy. The high energy levels make it easy for you to do tasks and increase your ability to resist using drugs. When working out is paired with cognitive-behavioral therapy, it can help one quit smoking.
Provides Routine and Structure
One of the reasons exercising is such a powerful tool in curbing cravings is because of the routine it creates. By signing up for a workout session or an exercise regimen, you build a solid pattern for each day. If you tell someone about your workout routine, you will have someone hold you accountable and motivate you to follow your routine. Schedule your exercise sessions at specific times. For instance, by committing to work out early in the morning, you minimize the urge to stay late drinking. If you are exercising in the evening, then you have a reason to miss happy hour. Experts at http://oceansrecovery.com/ agree that a daily structure designed for ordinary moments of weakness can help you stay clean.
Helps Relieve Stress
When one is withdrawing from alcohol or drugs, they experience heightened stress levels. However, you can reduce stress with either high or low-intensity exercises. When exercising, your mind focuses on your body’s movements instead of stressors. It is like you are giving your brain something else to think of rather than the urge to take alcohol or a substance. Also, when you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which are feel-good hormones to help you cope with stress.
Helps Occupy Your Time and Thoughts
When you begin your recovery process, you will have a lot of time on your hands because you no longer drink or abuse substances. However, this free time can either be a curse or a blessing, depending on how you spend it. If you do not find an activity for that time, you are likely to think of alcohol or drugs and even get tempted to use it again. Exercising can be a great way to fill up that time and keep yourself busy. It can help if you have an exercising goal. For instance, you can decide to train for a half marathon by coming to your community or deciding you want to strengthen your muscles. There are so many sports to get involved in such as soccer, basketball, hockey and tennis. There are many gym choices too like multiple types of classes, running, and lifting weights. Setting exercise goals is a great way to make life better. Try to do things like increase your ability to lift a certain amount of weight or run a certain distance. People who have gone through recovery say that an exercise program that includes some meditation and/or breath work is very helpful. Things like yoga may be helpful. This will help you have something to focus on, drawing your mind away from drugs and alcohol.
Improves Your Mind
When you exercise, your body releases serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins, which help regulate your moods. Most people in recovery go through extreme mood swings as the body tries to adjust without the drugs. It is even worse for someone dealing with mental health issues as well, like depression and anxiety. However, regular exercising helps improve your mood. When one is going through depression, one is encouraged to exercise to improve their moods. Therefore, instead of relying on a substance to feel better, you can energize yourself through exercise.
There are multiple exercises you can choose to help you with recovery. Even if you are not certain about what you might like, try out different forms of exercise and find what works for you.