Many drug treatment centers today are including a gym membership or at least regular opportunities to exercise. And they are doing this for good reason! Drug treatment centers recognize the great benefits of exercise for one’s mental and physical health.
Exercise Helps Many Aspects of Health
In fact, recent research has proven that exercise not only helps treat mental illness, such as depression, but it can also be used to prevent mental illness as well. Along these lines, regular exercise can help a recovering addict feel good emotionally, psychologically, physically, and even spiritually. And this alone can prevent relapses and create a buffer against triggers when they arise.
In fact, for many recovering addicts exercise can be an essential ingredient on the path to drug addiction treatment. Physical activity can release endorphins, which alone help to boost positive feelings. Exercise can also help with the health of the brain, including making new neural connections and facilitating sobriety and change that lasts. Furthermore, to experience these benefits from exercise, you don’t have to run three miles a day; simply taking a walk regularly can boost mental health. Studies show that exercising at least three times per week is an ideal amount. However, to experience the benefits from exercise, you don’t have to run three miles a day; simply taking a walk regularly can boost mental health.
Other Forms of Healthy Exercise
Other forms of healthy exercise can include running in place, jumping rope, or walking around the block. If you are at work or have time limitations, you might try a one hour yoga class three times per week or moving the body in five minute increments throughout your work day. No matter how you engage in the exercise, as long as you are moving your body and participating in cardio activity (raising the heart beat) regularly, you’ll feel the effects of exercise, and you’ll see the ways that it can support your recovery.
Traditionally, recovery has been focused on getting sober, and it should be! However, in recent years, the journey towards sober living has begun to include additional treatment methods and take on a holistic approach. Recovery has begun to tend to a recovering addict’s other areas of life such as emotional, spiritual, and physical. In addition to detoxification, recovery might also include ways to reduce stress, improve well being, and find a sense of personal balance. This certainly includes forms of exercise.
Including Exercise in Drug Treatment Aftercare
For this reason, you might consider including exercise in your drug treatment aftercare. Although exercise will likely be a part of your drug treatment, once you leave a substance abuse treatment center, you won’t have as much support in your recovery. Creating your own drug treatment aftercare plan and including exercise can significantly support your sobriety.
It goes without saying that an addiction can wreak havoc on the body. Destruction to the brain and body can be severe with addictions to drugs such as heroin or methamphetamine. And even the regular use of alcohol can be harmful. For example, alcohol impedes nutrient breakdown and impairs the ability to assimilate those nutrients. And, when someone is in the height of their drinking, 50 percent of their calorie intake is derived from the drinking. Damage to the body, not only because of the addiction but also because of the destructive food choices has led many sober living homes and halfway houses to include fitness and nutritional counseling in their programs.
It’s common for unhealthy food choices to accompany addiction. For instance, an addict can easily and unconsciously work through an entire bag of chips while watching television. There’s no question that both an addiction and unhealthy eating patterns can result in severely harming the body. Physical exercise and nutritional eating can facilitate turning this around.
Regular exercise in your drug treatment aftercare can restore your health, clarity of mind, and peace in your heart.