When it comes to recovery from alcohol or drug abuse, there is psychological and physical damage to repair. During this process, exercise can have tremendous benefits. Here are four reasons exercise is so important in recovery.
Tension in the body comes from internal and external stressors, and movement is the best way to alleviate that tension and any negative emotions. By focusing energy on mindful physical movement, we can channel energy in ways that benefit us, instead of letting it escape in unhealthy or dangerous ways.
Endorphins are the body’s “feel-good” hormone, and these are released during exercise. They’re also released when someone abuses substances, but our ability to feel satisfaction, pleasure or happiness becomes impaired with the abuse of drugs or alcohol. Exercising during recovery is a way to re-introduce natural levels of endorphins, so that your body begins to remember how to regulate brain chemistry and mood in a healthy, natural way.
Meditation in Motion
It was the Mayo Clinic that described exercise as meditation in motion, and it’s a fitting description. During physical movement, we’re able to enjoy the emotional and psychological benefits of meditation by focusing on our own well-being. A good sweat session can make you feel clear-headed, focused and optimistic, feelings that help make recovery much more manageable.
An Improved Outlook
Setting and sticking to a fitness regimen brings feelings of accomplishment, pride and self-worth. You just begin to feel better, and that makes sobriety feel more attainable. There are so many benefits to exercise, from better sleep to more energy to the plain aesthetics. When it’s a component of your recovery, however, the biggest benefit is how it can make life more enjoyable.