Benefits of Physical Fitness in Recovery

Written by Chloe Nicosia

Why Physical Fitness in Recovery is Important

The early days of sobriety can be some of the most trying. Relapse statistics for the first year of sobriety show that around 40 to 60 percent of recovering addicts will return to drug use following a relapse, according to JAMA. For this reason, taking advantage of every relapse prevention strategy is crucial to help avoid it. Among the best ways of relapse prevention is physical fitness in recovery.

This article will review the benefits of exercise in addiction recovery.

A Natural Stress Reliever

Addiction is a mental disease that is often triggered by stress. As a person becomes overwhelmed with things in their life, substance abuse may have been a way to self-medicate before. Stress levels can also be higher due to stopping the drug use itself, as a part of the longer term withdrawal effects.

Working on your physical fitness in recovery is an excellent way to tackle the daily stress, or stress brought on by a unique situation. While a person exercises, their brain releases endorphins almost as a reward for physical activity. These endorphins can help to reduce stress that is both physical and psychological.

Boost Your Mood

When a person uses physical fitness in recovery, they not only get the stress reduction that exercise is known for, but they can also improve their mood and energy levels. The endorphins that are released during fitness in addiction recovery help to boost a person’s mood positively. Once a person has gotten used to regular exercise, they will begin to feel the benefits of physical fitness in recovery on their mood almost immediately.

Helps to Correct Brain Chemistry

While a person abuses a substance, their brain tries to counteract the effects. This results in a reduction in the brains natural function in important areas of the brain. One of the benefits of exercise in addiction recovery is the return of normal function from the imbalanced state caused by the substance abuse.

As a person focuses on fitness in addiction recovery, their brain will begin to function more normally again, helping to rectify the problems substance abuse caused in their brain activity.

Exercise as a Relapse Prevention Tool

Relapse begins with the emotional relapse stage. When this occurs, a person begins to have increasing amounts of stress and intrusive feelings that are not being managed properly. If nothing is done about this stage of relapse, a person will begin to think about using and ultimately use drugs or alcohol again.

One of the benefits of exercise in addiction recovery is the immediate positive response. This means that when a person begins to feel too overwhelmed and considering substance abuse again, they can stop right there and do some heavy exercise. Run for a few miles or go for an intense workout at the gym.

Better Sleep

Another fantastic benefit of exercise is that it can improve a person’s sleep. In many substance abuse cases, insomnia is one of the symptoms that a person must deal with. The fatigue that this can cause can make everything feel more difficult.

By exercising on a regular basis, these effects can be reversed. A good night’s rest goes a long way in the recovery from addiction, especially early in recovery.

If you need help to stay clean and sober or want to learn more about relapse prevention and the benefits of regular exercise for recovery, call Better Addiction Care at 1-800-429-7690.