Exercising in addiction recovery can help you or a loved one stay on the right path of sobriety. Private rehabs will often incorporate a variety of exercise regimes into their programs to ensure every patient gets the most out of treatment. Starting exercise, particularly as soon as rehab begins, will help a person to prepare for the journey ahead. Their physical body will become healthier while their mental and emotional wellbeing balances.
Exercising during rehab, and after, is vital. Although it may not be a person’s favourite thing to do and the last activity on a newly sober person’s mind, exercise can become an integral part of sobriety. If you’re not much of a “fitness buff”, or never exercised at all, and are ready to embark on a healthier journey, consider these benefits of exercising during rehab.
Exercise Can Strengthen the Effects of Recovery
Over the last decade, private rehabs have taken the initiative by exploring a variety of alternative therapies to treat addiction. Included in these new techniques is exercise. This is in part to forthcoming research suggesting exercise in combination with counselling and support groups can strengthen the effects of rehab and recovery.
Engaging in Exercise During Addiction Recovery Can Improve Self Esteem
It’s common for addicts to have low self esteem and lack the confidence they need to maintain sobriety. If these feelings are not addressed, there is a greater risk of running into future problems which can hinder the recovery process. Self esteem is related to a range of positive qualities such as life satisfaction, adaptability, social behaviours and resilience to stress. It’s an important aspect to a persons’ mental health and will have an impact in the quality of life.
Researchers have been able to link physical activity to feelings of accomplishment, increased confidence and improved self esteem. Even just 20 minutes a day of vigorous exercise can heighten a person’s mood and help them to feel good about their self.
Exercise Can Release Endorphins
In the case of a drug or alcohol addiction, the individual essentially chases the “high”. These cravings can be the very thing that causes an addiction to linger on and even a core reason for a person to seek the help of a rehab. In recovery the body will crave a release of endorphins, or the chemicals which lead the high.
Intense exercises which induce sweat will release the same endorphins as well as endocannabinoids. This combination, according to research by A Dietrich, W F McDaniel, promotes changes in the mental status of a person. These include relaxation, alleviation of pain and a better sense of wellbeing. This chemical release will help a person to cope with their addiction treatment and overall daily life during and after rehab.
Exercise Can Induce a Sound Sleep
It’s well known that addiction and withdrawal can disrupt the bodies many processes which include the natural, biological rhythms humans are accustomed to. When disrupted, the ability to fall or stay asleep without drugs can seem nearly impossible. Once in recovery at rehab, the body will return to a balanced state. To speed up this process, exercise will aid in the ability to get a good night’s sleep. With this rest, the body also is able to increase the overall healing process.
Boredom and Anxiety is Relieved
Rehab programs are intense; leaving small gaps of free time for writing, resting or reflecting. However, once home, it can be easy for a person to feel bored or anxious leading to stressful thoughts and daydreaming about using. Exercise can fill up time and eliminate these potentially negative thoughts. Eventually, as physical activity becomes included in a daily regime, the individual will feel more as if they’re living in the present with a boost of energy, better mood and clearer thinking.
Exercise is Healthy
Any form of physical activity will help to ward of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, cancers and various mental health disorders. It will also increase nerve connections in the brain which aids in any cognitive impairment which was a result of the substance abuse. Reversing health problems significantly improves life and impacts the overall success of long term sobriety.
Anger is Alleviated
Some recovering men or women will have difficulties in dealing with emotions like anger, rage and frustration. Expressing these in a healthy, positive way can prove to be a challenge, especially if they’ve never tried. One stress physiologist, Nathaniel Thom, says exercise has a “prophylactic effect” against the buildup of anger. Working out on a regular basis offers an outlet to express anger and its related emotions in a healthier, more conducive way to recovery. Running, walking, weight lifting, hitting a punching bag or swimming are various types of exercise which can better control anger.
De-Stress with Exercise
It’s inevitable that there will be times of a crisis. A person may feel overwhelmed and unable to cope with the surge of emotions like stress. Exercise during rehab will be a times in which an individual can realise its powerful anti-stress benefits. After the program, physical activity can become the greatest tool to reduce stress in what may seem like an uncontrollable environment. At the same time, it’s a proactive recovery technique.
Incorporating Exercise into Your Daily Life
Perhaps you have not ever exercised, or haven’t done so in ages. Whether you’ve been to rehab and neglected physical activity upon returning home, or are just trying to better your overall health, anything is better than nothing. Consider starting small. Try going for a 15 or 20 minute morning or evening walk every day; notice how you feel before and after. If you like to write in a recovery journal, jot down your thoughts and feelings. Considering working out with a loved one or friend too. This can be a great way to repair damaged relationships and grow stronger, long lasting bonds.
It’s important to remember not to get lost into the obsession of exercise. All too often, a person becomes caught up on the number of kilometres they walked or amount of weights they lifted. Any failed expectations can cause disappointment, anger and confidence problems. Realistically, it’s not about how long or how much, but rather about how YOU feel.
Siam Rehab in Chiang Rai Takes Exercise Seriously
As a leading drug and alcohol rehab in Thailand, Siam Rehab puts an emphasis on exercise during addiction treatment. Throughout the week, men and women will be encouraged to participate in walks, group exercise, gym workouts, Thai boxing, yoga and spinning classes. Guided by a personal trainer and supported by a professional team, individuals will start to feel mentally, emotionally and physically better. Ultimately, balance will be restored and the road to recovery will look brighter than ever!