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One Step at a Time: The Benefits of Exercise in Recovery

Jul 15, 2020

It is essential to find a healthy balance in your new life of sobriety. For many people, aspects like health were ignored during active addiction. Physical exercise has been recognized to add value to recovery, and studies suggest that regular exercise can increase the abstinence rate for substance use.

Recovery can be seen not only as staying sober but also finding true happiness and fulfillment in a life of sobriety.

While on the new path of sobriety after completing treatment for substance use, physical movement can boost your mood, manage depression and anxiety, create time management, and reduce overall stress. For many people, the thought of beginning something new, such as a wellness routine, can seem daunting. However, it is crucial to understand that physical fitness can take many forms. You don’t have to be a marathon runner to reap the benefits of daily exercise. Something as simple as walking 30 minutes a day can add tremendous value to your daily life.

Here are three benefits to incorporating exercise into your daily schedule:

Exercise will promote healing of both the body and brain.

Long-term fitness improves cardio-vascular health, promotes a healthy immune system, lessens the symptoms of depression and anxiety, and increases your overall energy. For many substance users, brain health might have deteriorated over the course of time. Something as simple as a 30-minute walk every other day can increase blood flow to your brain, which in turn boosts brain cell production and improves overall brain health by increasing new nerve connections.

Exercise can provide time-management and structure to your days.

You might feel overwhelmed with extra time on your hands upon leaving a treatment program that once provided day-to-day structure, so it’s important to delegate your time in a way that will benefit your recovery. Setting up a personal wellness plan or signing up for classes at your local gym can add a sense of structure and commitment to your days. Regular exercise, in whatever form you choose, can fill some time that otherwise might feel paralyzing.

Exercise provides an overall positive feeling.

During exercise, chemicals are released in the brain that combat stress. As you begin to settle back into your normal life, daily stressors might become more apparent. Creating a healthy routine when stress related to work and family begin to appear will help you regain a sense of balance in managing the stresses that come your way. Exercise, even if it’s as short as five minutes, releases endorphins in the brain and relieves tension in the body. Since your mind and body are connected, when your body feels better, your mind does too.

Whatever form of exercise you choose, remember to strive for progress over perfection. Start small, set achievable goals, and remember to take it one step at a time.

Hannah’s House is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renowned clinical care for addiction and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting sobriety. For information on our programs, call us today: 866-952-5532.

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