Recovering from an addiction is a long and tough process. Many people will relapse and re-enter the cycle of addiction, which can be frustrating when you’re trying to recover. No matter what your addiction, it’s important to find ways to help you on the path to recovery. Exercise is an effective way to help you through your recovery, that will help you improve your overall health too.
It can help create your own, healthy endorphins
Endorphins are the chemicals that the body produces that reduces pain and creates feelings of happiness. Endorphins are also released when you take part in the activity that you are addicted too. Your body can rely on these feelings to numb pain or keep you feeling happy, making you push yourself to find ways to keep up this feeling, which has many consequences.
Exercise is something else that can create endorphins. The ‘runner’s high’ is just one example of how exercise can make you feel good. Exercising during your recovery can help you to rediscover natural endorphins during your recovery, helping with cravings for other types of satisfaction.
It can help to relieve stress
Recovery is a stressful period. It can be particularly difficult to stay calm when faced with people and situations from before your addiction started. Situations such as meeting up with family members and friends or even returning to work can all cause stress that could cause you to relapse.
If you feel stressed while dealing with your recovery, your first step should be to call an addiction hotline to discuss your feelings with someone who can offer you advice. Exercise, meanwhile, can act as a great stress reliever by helping to shift your focus and take your mind off your issues. Calming exercises such as yoga are great for calming anxiety and relieving tension. You may also find that running or a high-impact exercise such as boxing, also have a positive effect on your stress levels.
It can help you form a routine
Getting yourself into a routine and settling back into normal life is a key step in addiction recovery. Booking classes at your local gym or scheduling a run as part of your day will give you something to work around and helps you to focus. It may take you some time to find an exercise that you enjoy, but that offers a great excuse to try many different types of exercise.
If you need someone to inspire you, take Mishka Shubaly as an example. In his memoir, he details how he used running as a way to overcome his addictions - building up from 5 miles to ultramarathons on his path to recovery. It’s an inspiring story and one that shows that having a good focus and routine can help you kick your demons.
It’s an apology to your body
Substance addictions in particular, have a damaging effect on the body. Other addictions can also have a negative effect as you start neglecting your physical and mental health to indulge in your addictions. As well as the mental recovery for your addiction, it’s important to start a physical one too by embracing healthy habits to get you fit again and help your body to recover.
Exercising a few times a week can help you boost your cardiovascular health and help make sure that you keep your body strong. You can start off with gentle exercises such as walking and swimming, building up to more intense exercise as you get fitter. Combined with a healthy diet, you can begin to undo the damage to your body caused by addictions.
It can boost your self-esteem
Exercise is known for being able to boost your self-esteem, making you feel stronger and more confident in yourself. Being able to stick to an exercise regime can help you feel a sense of achievement that is welcome after a period of feeling lost and unsatisfied.
As you get fitter, your body will begin to improve - something that can make you feel more positive about yourself. The endorphins created during exercise will help boost your positivity and seeing yourself achieve your goals will keep you motivated to carry on with your healthier new lifestyle. The results may not be instant, but by keeping going, you can keep having something positive to work towards.
Starting an exercise routine is difficult, but you can find the motivation to exercise in all sorts of places. Exercising is a healthy way to help your recovery and give you a new focus for body and mind. It’s a difficult road, but it’s important to reach out for help when you need it. Remember that you’re never alone in this struggle.