Working towards sobriety is a process. There is no cure for addiction, but there are tools to help people stay away from substances and situations that put them at risk. Exercise may be one of those tools for some people. It is a way to help stimulate the brain and support recovery in the long term. Most importantly, exercise helps your body to heal. How can it help you to say sober longer?
Recognize the Risks
The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that relapse from substance use disorders happens in about 40 to 60 percent of cases. Keep in mind this is about the same level, or slightly lower, than other chronic health conditions such as hypertension and asthma. In short, relapse is a real threat to you, even if you think you are doing just fine. Putting the time and hard work to keep relapse at bay is very much worth it.
The Role Exercise Plays in Sobriety
Exercise does not cure addiction. It also does not replace other therapy and support you need to maintain your health long term. However, exercise may offer numerous benefits to you above and beyond this.
As noted by the National Library of Medicine, exercise offers many benefits to overall health. It can help to control weight. It may help to reduce the risk of health complications from heart disease. It may also help you avoid the onset of conditions like insulin and help you to stop smoking.
Exercise helps improve stress
One key place to focus attention on is exercise’s ability to improve mood and reduce stress. When you exercise, the stress hormone in the bloodstream is burned up. The brain releases this stress hormone when you’re feeling anxious or facing a challenge. It’s only meant to remain in your body for a short time. Yet, in today’s world, it may remain there for a very long time, limiting your health and wellbeing in the process.
When you exercise, your body burns that stress hormone. That’s why many people workout and leave feeling refreshed and in a positive mood. Some of that comes from the release of endorphins, or feel good hormones, during the workout. In short, if you are feeling anxious about drug use or finding work hard to manage, a good workout can help you work through those feelings without having to think about or turn to drugs and alcohol to improve them.
Exercise can stimulate learning and thinking
Another benefit comes from how exercise can help stimulate your cognitive function. If you have ever worked out and then left that workout feeling like your mind was clearer, and you were better able to make decisions, this is one of the reasons why that happens.
During exercise, your body releases proteins and chemicals to help improve the function of the brain. It also helps to boost the overall healthy structure of the brain. That may help you feel good, and it helps you to see a boost in cognitive function.
Stress helps you sleep better
Another important way stress may be beneficial is that it helps you to sleep well at night. Good sleep is very important for recovery from addiction. Your body has a lot to overcome and heal from during the recovery process. Sleep helps to make that possible. It also helps to improve the quality of sleep you get.
Exercise may also help to boost your energy level. When a person has more energy, they are more likely to embrace life and achieve their goals. They have the motivation and want to work towards their objectives. That’s important in addiction recovery when there is so much to work towards during the recovery process.
How to Incorporate Exercise into Your Recovery
You may learn more about exercise opportunities during your inpatient treatment program. It is something you may learn to engage in during your time in outpatient therapy as well. The key is to find a type of exercise that you enjoy so you can dive into it and love what you are doing.
If you are ready to find help for drug and alcohol addiction, reach out to American Rehab Centers today.