In recovery, people often talk about their “toolbox” that helps them stay clean. The toolbox is a metaphor for things that help you stay clean and learn to live life in a more constructive, more positive way. It almost goes without saying that 12-step meetings and time with clean peers is a part of recovery. Some people also find meditation is a good way to relax and rid themselves of negative emotion. Exercise is also powerful tool for people in recovery, but not everyone is aware of its benefits.
Some people may shrug when they’re told exercise is a tool to help with their recovery, but it’s a fact that there are many benefits to this tool. Maybe you think that it’s something that only athletes can do, but that’s a myth. Many people find that exercise helps them live more calmly, gives them confidence, and helps them with the detox process.
You can choose to exercise alone or with your friends, but no matter what, the benefits of exercise can help you at any stage of your recovery.
Why is exercise such a powerful tool for people in recovery? Here’s a short list of benefits:
- It helps build new, positive habits. Exercise is a great way to work off your stress and get into a new routine. Often people new to recovery feel “jittery” or have anxiety about what to do with “down time”. Adding exercise to your routine can help you replace old, bad habits with something positive that feels good, too.
- It helps restore your brain chemicals. Exercise can help your body regain its balance once you have detoxed. It also helps regulate brain chemicals, which also affect your moods on a daily basis.
- You’ll sleep better. Exercise not only decreases stress levels, but can also help you sleep better and more deeply. This helps your body heal and improves your mental health in general. Sleep is an essential component of a healthy mind!
- It promotes better mental health and moods. When you exercise, your body releases a chemical called endorphins, which in turn trigger a positive reaction from your brain. This “natural high” helps regulate moods throughout the day.
- It promotes better physical health. People who exercise regularly are less likely to suffer from chronic pain, high blood pressure, diabetes, and lifestyle-related diseases such as obesity. When you feel better physically, it’s easier to be positive, too!
Getting Started with Exercise
Many recovery programs incorporate exercise and healthy eating into treatment plans for people in recovery. Exercise helps the body detox itself (think: sweat) and also helps you regulate your moods.
You don’t have to be an athlete to start exercising – in fact, it’s easy to simply start walking on a daily basis.
Doctors say that even just 15 minutes a day can improve your blood circulation and give you lasting benefits. You’ll boost your mood and also be able to live in the present as you enjoy the sights and sounds on your walk. Exercise can be a great benefit no matter if you are brand new to recovery or have years of clean time.
Do you or a loved one have a problem with alcohol and/or drugs? Recovery is possible. Call us today to learn more about our detox and recovery programs. All calls are 100% confidential and we’re happy to answer any questions you have. Reach out today at (888) 959-3277.