Addiction Recovery: The Role of Physical Activity

Physical activity is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. From childhood, people are encouraged to engage in physical activity, and it’s a required course kids have to take in school. As people get older and settle into hectic lives, usually filled with work and family, physical activity is sometimes left on the backburner. However, physical activity should be taken as seriously as eating healthy and getting enough sleep, because of the long-term health benefits it has. Physical activity also plays an integral role in addiction recovery. When someone is recovering from addiction, the individual has to be whole physically and spiritually, and physical activity helps to heal the body and mind.

Structure And Discipline in Addiction Recovery

When people are recovering from an addiction, they are seeking ways to restructure their lives with meaningful activity. Exercise is an activity that can be incorporated in one’s life on a daily basis, providing structure to a person’s life. It also will help a person find discipline on a daily basis. They can even find a partner who will help motivate them to stay on track and share the experience with.

Physical Health And Feelings Of Wellbeing

Besides providing much-needed daily structure, exercise also helps boost a person’s physical health. Daily activity can help ward off:

  • Weight gain
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Cardiovascular diseases

The benefits of physical exercise are endless, and will also help boost a person’s self-esteem. When a person starts looking better, one’s own self-worth rises. Physical activity can help someone in addiction recovery reclaim those areas of their life.

Time To Yourself

Another important aspect of physical activity is the therapeutic aspect. While at times having a partner or engaging in a team activity is great, finding time to yourself is another crucial benefit of physical activity. Whether it’s swimming, walking, or riding a bike, particularly being out in nature gives the individual time to reflect and be alone in one’s thoughts. Combining nature and physical activity is a therapeutic activity that can give a person time to reflect on life.

Wards Off Depression

One of the hardest parts of addiction recovery is the inevitable mood swings that happen during the recovery. Sometimes a person will feel happy and positive, but then the next day become overcome with guilt and regret. Exercise helps stabilize these feelings. Besides giving structure to a person’s life, exercise also releases chemicals in the brain that heighten positive moods and feelings.

Regular Sleeping Patterns in Addiction Recovery

Physical activity and having regular sleeping patterns are related. When a person gets exercise, they are more likely to feel tired at night, without the nervous energy they might have without exercising. Physical activity helps give a person a release from stress and anxiety, so it doesn’t keep that up at night. Forming healthy sleeping patterns, can also help a person stay away from situations at night that might otherwise make relapse tempting. By incorporating regular physical activity and sleep, people can help change the negative patterns in their life that had previously led to addiction.

Join An Exercise Group

The physical activity a person chooses to engage in can be variable. And it actually might be better for a person to find a variety of exercises to engage in, so that one can stay interested. Depending on the person’s personal preferences, joining a class or an exercise group can help keep physical activity fun, and even make some new friends. There are many different types of activities, such as yoga, kickboxing, aerobics, and Zumba workouts set to music. This can help a person stay motivated, and also engage in a communal activity. Physical activity is an integral part of recovery, and should be built into a person’s everyday schedule.