Entering recovery from addiction, whether that be drugs, alcohol or anything else is a challenge that lasts a lifetime. However, there are many coping mechanisms that can help that challenge become more manageable.
Physical exercise is certainly one of those, with every rehab centre encouraging it, whether that be running, swimming, cycling, walking or any other form. At your typical drug and alcohol addiction treatment centre, their treatment plans will utilise time for exercise, often yoga.
That’s for a number of reasons, with exercise such a crucial part of staying on track. But what are those reasons?
It’ll Provide You With a Routine
A big part of treatment and recovery is providing structure to your life. At such centres, those looking to get clean from addiction will be given a daily schedule, with structured meal times, bedtime and wake up call, as well as key activities in the day.
That structure can then continue into recovery, with it offering peace of mind and a regular routine that you know you have to stick to. Disorganisation can be a real trigger in relapse, so whether it be a morning yoga session, or a run post-work to put a full stop in the day, it can really help with recovery.
It’ll Reduce Stress
Perhaps more importantly is the fact that exercise is scientifically proven to reduce stress. That’s due to the release of endorphins, the “feel good” hormone, which will alleviate stress and any negative elements of your mental health.
While a person may have once turned to the bottle to deal with stress, running can act as that coping mechanism and an outlet to relieve that stress.
Promote Clear Thinking
As a result, you’ll be much clearer in your thoughts, with no dark clouds muddying your mind. This improves focus, concentration and self-esteem, all of which are hugely important in staying on track.
That focus will go on to not only help a person maintain their sobriety, but also help in other parts of their lives too, such as at work or in relationships.
You’ll Start To Repair the Body
Becoming healthier is only going to help repair the body after what could well be years of abuse. Running will hugely help the cardiovascular system and in turn, allow nutrients and minerals to make their way around the body more efficiently.
What’s more, it can help with weight loss, as well as strengthening the immune system. That’ll improve overall feeling towards physical health, and again make recovery that bit more manageable.
You’ll Get a Better Night’s Sleep
Finally, sleep is so important when it comes to recovery. Being over-tired can often be a trigger in relapse, and really set a person back. To combat this, regular exercise regulates our circadian rhythm, reducing the time it takes to fall asleep. This means less time with our thoughts, which can often be when we suffer the most, when we’re staring up at the ceiling.
What’s more, we’ll have worked hard in our workouts, meaning we’re more likely to be tired at the end of the day.