It’s not always easy to get regular exercise. Often, life just gets in the way and we simply can’t find the time to go for a jog or to hit the gym. But, for people who are recovering from drug or alcohol addiction, exercise can provide them with a few perks that can be especially beneficial to their recovery process.
In the following article, we’ll go over some of the most important benefits of getting exercise when attending Luxury Drug Rehabs or treatment centers.
Re-Structuring the Brain
Often times, drug addiction or alcohol abuse has detrimental effects on the brain, which affects the user’s mood and behavior.
Fortunately, exercise has the ability to create a surge of natural endorphins in the brain. This release of endorphins works to improve mood and behavior in a natural way. This can be especially beneficial since a person’s mood is often unstable during the recovery process and getting regular exercise can help manage these mood swings.
Furthermore, it can also help reduce many of the mental health symptoms, such as anxiety and depression, which often go hand in hand with addiction and recovery.
Helps Manage Cravings
By using energy in a healthy and positive way, exercise can also helps manage both the physical and mental cravings that coincide with addiction recovery.
Being active provides recovering addicts with structure in their daily lives, limiting the time spent unoccupied, which is when cravings are most likely to surface. Furthermore, daily exercise can improve sleep and energy levels throughout the day, as well as a person’s overall mental health, making them more likely to be able to resist their cravings.
On the other hand, a lack of physical exercise usually results in unused energy, which can manifest itself as restlessness, anxiety, and agitation, and can be detrimental to the recovery process. Therefore, using this energy in a constructive manner can help reduce and limit these symptoms.
By improving mood and making use of energy in a positive way, exercise can drastically help reduce stress levels. And, since exercise improves overall cognitive function, it leaves recovering addicts in a better position to properly deal with the issues they’re facing in their daily lives.
In other words, rather than being able to fixate on issues and letting stress accumulate, exercise helps deal with this and can help recovering addicts see the solutions to their problems.
As you probably already know, exercise improves circulation and increases oxygen levels in the body. This has the ability to leave us with more energy, which can drastically help a recovering addict deal with the challenges of recovery.
Increased energy levels also help improve mood and keeps us preoccupied in a healthy manner, which further helps with the recovery process.
When a person initially enters into recovery, the withdrawal from the substances that the body has become dependent on can be extremely disruptive to bodily functions, which includes sleep.
In other words, many addicts become reliant on substances to help them sleep. Then, when a person goes into recovery, they often struggle to achieve solid, deep sleep levels.
Fortunately, exercise helps improve our circadian rhythms, which helps regulate body temperatures, as well as using energy in a productive way. In turn, this helps the body rest and allows for better, deeper sleep.
Additionally, better sleep has other benefits as well, such as improved mood, health, and cognitive function, which all contribute to being able to cope properly with the recovery process.
Read more about how sleep affects cognitive function here
Mental Health and Cognitive Function
As we’ve already mentioned, exercise helps improve our overall mental health and cognitive function. In turn, this improves focus and our problem-solving abilities, which make coping with recovery that much easier.
Furthermore, having an improved mental focus can also make you more resistant to cravings and the temptation to use. And, exercise also helps re-structure the neural pathways, which have been damaged by drug or alcohol abuse.
Many times, addicts lose the structure from their lives due to their destructive and addictive behaviors. Therefore, one of the biggest challenges that comes with recovery is finding a healthy and productive way to fill in the time that was once used to obtain and use drugs or alcohol.
During treatment in rehab or at treatment centers, recovering addicts are provided with a clear structure throughout each and every day. The problem is that it can be extremely difficult to continue with this type of structure after treatment is complete.
However, exercise is an excellent and productive way to continue with a healthy daily or weekly structure. This is because the consistency and motivation needed to follow an exercise routine also teaches other important skills such as discipline and commitment.