Do you adore exercise, or does the thought of working out get you all worked up? Whether you are an exercise nut or someone who has very little experience doing a formal exercise program, exercise can help you in addiction recovery. It is not only good for your body, it is also good for your psyche.
1. Exercise Provides Positive Structure
When you exercise, you create a new, positive habit in your life. You are more likely to stick to your exercise regime if you do it at the same time during the day or the week. In turn, this creates a new, positive structure for your week. If you go to the gym instead of heading out for a drink after work, you are promoting wellness in two ways at once.
2. Exercise Provides Social and Independent Time
If you want to have a positive social outlet, exercising with other people is one way to a8chieve this. When you exercise, your focus is generally on the exercise and on casual chatter. Building up casual friendships is a way to reconnect with people if you feel that you have moved out of the social scene during your addiction recovery.
You can also choose to exercise alone. If independent time is what renews you, exercise such as a run can become a quiet and refreshing space in your day.
3. Exercise Helps Your Body Feel Good
If you gained or lost weight during the time when you were dependent on alcohol or if you fell into a habit of avoiding exercise, you may not have experienced the natural enjoyment that exercise can bring. Serotonin or norepinephrine are produced when you exercise. According to CNN
, “your brain increases production of these neurotransmitters, which send messages throughout your nervous system.” The messages are positive, and these neurotransmitters reduce stress and depression. Exercise also stresses the body in a healthy way and may enhance the body’s ability to respond to future stress.
4. Exercise Breaks Negative Patterns
In an article in Science Daily
, J. David Glass states: “With continual alcohol use, one may go to bed too early or late, not sleep across the night, and have an unusual eating regime, eating little throughout the day and/or overeating at night. This can lead to a vicious cycle of drinking because these individuals, in response, will consume more alcohol to fall asleep easier….”
If you depended on alcohol to regulate your body rhythms, exercise can do the same. It helps regulate circadian rhythms and tires you out, helping you sleep more easily without depending on alcohol.
5. Exercise is a New Obsession
If you find that you need the focus that addiction brought to your life, reorient your focus and concentrate on exercise instead. Men’s Health
suggests that exercise can be “a new addiction, a healthy obsession to replace the substance abuse.” This strong, positive pattern can be something to research, something to plan, and a place where you find friends with similar interests.
At Advanced Recovery Systems, we focus on supporting you in your long-term addiction recovery. If you want to make sure that your recovery is successful, contact us today
. We will help you build the tools you need to stay sober.