Written by Contributing Author
Exercise is something all of us should be doing each day to keep our mind and body in great condition. But when you are addicted to drugs or alcohol, you often don’t see taking care of yourself as a priority. When they enter a rehab center, it is only then that they realize the damage they have been doing to themselves. The road to sobriety is not an easy one, and you need to develop motivation, willpower, and strength to achieve success. This is why many rehab centers have started to encourage recovering addicts to take up exercise. Not only can it improve their physical state, but it also hold a whole host of additional benefits they can utilize.
It gives back control
Replacing the use of drugs or alcohol with exercise is a simple way of allowing recovering addicts to gain control again. They can set personal targets that they aim to reach each week or day. They can also decide how long they intend to work out for and which exercise machines they want to use. Even though many aspects of their life may be out of control, exercising is one thing they can put their heart and soul into each day. Exercises such as boxing and martial arts are fantastic as they are all about discipline and self-control. This can help to build confidence and independence that the addict may have lost due to their addiction. Regular exercise also lets them have more control over their emotional state by reducing tension and stress.
It offers time to reflect
During more independent exercises such as running or cycling, the addict has time to think about their addiction and it’s effects. Combined with their counselling sessions, exercise gives them some quiet time alone. . It also allows them to think positively about future plans and how they intend to develop after their rehabilitation is over. These times are reflection can be highly motivational and even life changing. Exercise encourages the body to release endorphins which makes us feel happy and more positive. So when an addict exercises during recovery, it's hard for them not to feel good about their progression so far.
It provides a distraction
When a recovering addict leaves a rehab or sober living community such as Fresh Start it can be easy to slip back into old habits. Without the continual support of counselors and friends at the center, their chances of relapse can be quite high. Starting an exercise regime in the early stages of their recovery will help them develop more positive and healthy habits. They can find out which exercises they enjoy and join gyms and fitness groups once they leave. This distraction will help to take their mind away from the fear of using drugs or drinking alcohol again. It also provides them with an enjoyable hobby that keeps them focused and on track during their spare time.
These benefits can make an addict’s journey to sobriety more manageable and sustainable and success more likely.