How Supplementing Your Addiction Recovery With Exercise Can Help Prevent Relapse
The journey to recovery from alcohol and drug abuse is not easy. While there are many different rehab centers and methodologies to choose from, it is important to remember that this is not a one-size-fits-all process. In fact, it is often through a combination of different tools in addition to a primary treatment that patients find success.
Exercise is an excellent supplement to recovery. Many recovering addicts find exercise an excellent motivator that not only improves health but helps to prevent relapse. This guide from Lillian’s Holistic Journey offers practical tips on how to use movement and mindfulness as a coping tool in recovery.
The Benefits of Exercise
Regular exercise is necessary for any healthy lifestyle. It affects both physical and mental health. For this reason, it often serves as a motivator for recovering substance abusers to become and stay healthy. Exercise has been proven to relieve stress, decrease depression, and build self-esteem. It also has proven to balance hormones and repair the body where alcohol and substance abuse have wreaked havoc.
Multiple studies have also proven that exercise helps prevent relapse. Since getting in shape requires tangible goals, it forces patients to build an exercise schedule and stick with it so that it becomes a complete lifestyle change that keeps them from falling back on unhealthy behaviors.
Finding The Best Exercise
Knowing where to begin is hard. That’s why you should focus on finding the best exercise that works for you. This means not only choosing an activity that you are capable of doing, but also finding one that you enjoy. There is a higher chance of you committing to a workout routine if you actually like to do it. Check out this guide from SelectHealth for tips on finding the right exercise for you.
The American Heart Association recommends a combination of aerobic and strength training exercises for the best results. Activities like running, jogging, swimming, and cycling are great for strengthening your heart, while stretching, weight lifting, and resistance training will keep your other muscles toned and healthy.
Be careful not to overdo it. Start small and work your way up to avoid accidentally injuring yourself. If you’re brand new to working out, a smart strategy to avoid overexertion is to fit in small bursts of activity throughout the day — even 10 minutes a few times a day will give you physical and mental health benefits. As an example, Redfin suggests using the downtime while waiting on a home-cooked meal to be ready to do chair dips with a dining room chair, standing push-ups against the kitchen counter, or a wall sit. Similarly, try doing jumping jacks or crunches during commercial breaks while watching TV. All of these sessions add up to true results!
Exercise as Self-Care
Choosing to commit to exercise is choosing to commit to your health. Being able to put your health and needs first is a huge step, but this doesn’t stop with diet and exercise. Mental health is equally important and often neglected, which is why self-care is so important.
Self-care is the ability to be self-aware and address your needs as they arise. There is no wrong way to practice. It can be through affirmations, breathwork, therapy, meditation, mindfulness, journaling, eating a nutritious meal, getting enough sleep, or simply spending time with people you like.
Self-care also involves learning to say no. If you are someone who needs to decompress after a social event, schedule time to recover. If you can’t take on any extra work at the office, tell your boss. By putting yourself first, you will find yourself in a healthier and happier mindset.
It’s a Lifestyle Change
The most difficult part is committing to building a new habit. To help get in the right framework, be sure to set realistic and tangible goals instead of vague and aesthetic goals. For example, an achievable and tangible goal could be to spend five days a week going on 30-minute walks or to lift a higher weight level over a set amount of weeks; a goal that’s too broad is to lose weight by the beginning of summer. Being able to accomplish tasks will encourage you to set new goals and will boost your confidence.
However, beware: recovering addicts are susceptible to replacing one addiction with another and should seek help if they find themselves obsessing over working out.
The Road to Recovery
Exercise is an amazing tool to add to your recovery. When partnered with other structured addiction treatments, many patients have found it an excellent motivator to stay sober while getting healthy. With all the great benefits exercise has to offer, there is no reason it should not be a part of your daily lifestyle.
FDA Disclaimer: The information, advice, and statements made about the essential oils, blends, and products mentioned on this web site have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The information on this site and the products listed are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease, nor are they intended to replace proper healthcare professionals/veterinary care. It is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional or veterinarian before starting any regimen with essential oils, or natural wellness products and or exploring options, including but not limited to; Holistic Health consultations, Reflexology, and Aromatherapy. Lillian's Holistic Journey, LLC is here to help educate you on integrated wellness options.