Have you ever finished a race? Completed a CrossFit WOD? Crossed the finish line at a triathlon or a marathon? These events all give us the same great feelings, of accomplishment, happiness, and momentary bliss. Exercise is an important component to everyday life and should be incorporated into your recovery plan. It’s not unusual for people in active addiction to forget all about exercise and taking care of their bodies. That’s why in recovery exercise is critical to your continued to success. Here are some reasons why.
1. Natural endorphins
For many of us who have suffered from addiction, we’re always chasing that next high, something to make us feel good. What better way to feel good than exercise? When you exercise your body releases endorphins, which cause a natural high. Dedicated physical fitness in recovery can slowly alter brain chemistry and reintroduce you to healthy natural levels of endorphins in your body. This is not only beneficial in helping you feel better, it retrains your body how to feel good naturally and enhances your mood in a healthy way.
2. Burns calories and reduces stress
Not only does exercising feel good on the inside, but it also helps how you look on the outside. Exercise is a great way to burn calories and keep you at a healthy weight. Exercising is linked to a reduction in risk and symptoms for many diseases and health issues including heart disease, anxiety, depression, diabetes, asthma, and many others. Additionally, it can eliminate psychological stress. Moving your body can alleviate tension and rid the body of negative emotions. Physical exercise lets your mind and body concentrate on healthy ways of dispelling energy, instead of through the use of alcohol and drugs.
3. Boosts confidence
Exercise is an effective way to keep focused and remain positive. While your body chemistry will begin regulating again with sobriety, recovery, and exercise, it also gives you powerful emotions like confidence. You’ll feel a sense of pride and accomplishment in being able to complete your fitness goals. Achieving these goals will also help you reinforce your long-term goal of recovery. These enhanced feelings of well-being can help make life more manageable in general.
4. Adds structure to your life
When you’re new in recovery, structure helps. Once you decide to leave behind drugs and alcohol, you’ll find yourself with a lot more free time – the time you used to spend using, looking for your drug of choice, etc. A balanced schedule will help you stay on the path to your goals and your life of long-term sobriety. Exercising can take up time, clear your mind of worry or other negative thoughts about using, and set you on the path of clear direction. It can give you confidence and a sense of overall well-being to have a schedule that you stick to each day.
Sweating it out can be beneficial in many ways. It is absolutely an essential component to the spiritual, physical, and mental areas of addiction recovery. Exercise is a natural high that can keep you grounded, at a healthy weight, and on a schedule to keep your sobriety stable. Make exercise a part of your everyday life and you’ll be on the recovery pathway to success.
Get started on your new life today. Find out more about the Orlando Recovery Center.
Written by: Kelly Fitzgerald
Kelly is a sober writer based in Cape Coral, Florida, best known for her personal blog The Adventures Of A Sober Señorita. Follow her on Twitter.