When you use drugs or alcohol in excess, your physical health is affected. Addiction changes your body chemistry. When someone is addicted to drugs or alcohol, their brain and body crave the substances that were producing endorphins in their brains and creating the feeling of euphoria.
Exercise has been shown to be an effective tool for helping people recover from addiction.
How Exercise Can Help In Recovery From Addiction
Exercise helps you recover from addiction by improving your mood and self-esteem. It also improves your health and reduces stress. Studies have shown that committing to a regular exercise routine has been linked to reduced substance use and discontinuing their substance use altogether.
A Danish study in humans investigated an exercise program offered to 38 men and women who misused a variety of substances. Participants agreed to take part in group exercise three times a week for two to six months. Twenty people completed the intervention. When reassessed a year later, five reported abstinence and 10 reported that they had decreased their substance use.
What Role Does Exercise Play in Addiction Recovery?
It has been proven that exercise can be beneficial to people with addictions. Research has shown that regular physical activity reduces stress levels, improves mood, increases self-esteem, and helps individuals cope better with life stresses. Additionally, exercise also helps reduce cravings for drugs or alcohol.
Exercise has been shown to be correlated with alcohol recovery. Exercise releases endorphins into the body, which creates a natural high. These are the same kind of endorphins people release when they abuse substances.
During recovery, exercise can help reintroduce healthier levels of endorphins back into his or her body.
Physical Health Benefits
Regular physical activity helps you maintain a healthy weight, strengthens your bones and muscles and improves your overall health.
When you exercise, you expend energy by running, swimming, or riding a bicycle. But you will also receive energy back from your efforts. Exercise can help you feel more energetic and less sluggish when you’re recovering from an addiction.
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Mental Health Benefits
Exercise offers many psychological benefits too, including stress relief, improved mood, and increased energy Endorphins are released when you exercise, and they make you feel good. Endorphins are chemicals produced by the body that interact with the brain’s receptors to decrease our perception of pain, just like morphine does. Exercise activates the pleasure centers of the brain without leading to addiction or dependence. After each workout, this process can result in positive emotions such as joy, euphoria, and confidence.
Can You Exercise Too Much?
Regular exercise is healthy for most people. But some people may be more prone to exercise addiction than others. People with substance use disorders might be especially vulnerable to exercise addiction. We need more studies to confirm this. Tell your doctor if you’re starting to exercise too much. Exercise can cause injuries and other health problems. If you notice any signs of injury, stop exercising immediately.
How Can I Get Started With Exercise?
Start small! Start with walking. Walking is one of the easiest ways to get started with exercise. Walk around your neighborhood, park, or mall. It doesn’t matter how far you walk, but it should be at least 30 minutes per day.
Start slowly. Don’t try to run right away. Instead, start with walking. Once you’ve built up your endurance, gradually increase the distance you walk.
Riverside Recovery of Tampa and many other rehab facilities often offer exercise options. Many of the addiction recovery activities include the following:
- Aerobic classes
At Riverside Recovery of Tampa, we offer our clients a variety of exercise options that best fits their needs and preferences. No type of exercise is necessarily better than the others, what’s important is that you choose an activity that motivates you and gets you moving.
Exercise may help you in recovery but exercise alone cannot treat addiction. Exercise improves your physical condition, but also helps you cope emotionally with stress. When combined with other proven forms of addiction treatment, exercise can produce positive neurobiological and behavioral effects in recovery. Contact our team today to learn more about Riverside Recovery of Tampa’s treatment option.