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Tips for How Exercise Can Aid Your Addiction Recovery

Updated: May 20

Throughout your recovery journey, you know that the right treatment program is necessary. You are probably in counseling, attending a support group, and making sure you have the right network around you. But did you know that exercise could be an important part of your journey to sobriety as well? Let’s learn how with this guide brought to you by Fit Full Force.

How Fitness Helps Facilitate Recovery Can fitness help you kick drugs or alcohol? Researchers are starting to investigate this question. They know that exercise boosts dopamine, noradrenaline, and serotonin, all of which are chemicals in your brain that are boosted by many addictive drugs. Exercise also releases endorphins and endocannabinoids. These chemicals produce a natural high. Some call this “runner’s high,” the feeling of euphoria you get after aerobic exercise like running. Working out also releases galanin, a chemical that reduces stress. That makes exercise, as part of making smarter choices for living a healthier lifestyle overall, a win-win for people in recovery. CNN cites another study that suggests that regular physical activity

“may help in preventing amphetamine addiction.” The research is ongoing, but adding a fitness routine to your treatment is certainly a wise idea, as long as it’s done safely. Tips For Creating Your Workout Routine How can you create the right workout routine? It’s important to remember not to overdo exercise. Dealing with serious and painful injuries can derail your recovery efforts, so be sure to select a safe routine. Consult with your doctor to find out what exercises he recommends you avoid. Some good exercise choices for people in recovery include: Running or Power Walking: Running is ideal for addiction recovery. It reduces depression and cravings, increases your positivity and sense of being in control, and it can have a positive impact on your self-esteem. If your doctor OKs this activity, wear the proper shoes for running or power walking. Bring a water bottle to stay hydrated. And make sure your route does not take you past any places that tempt you to relapse. Weight Lifting and CrossFit: On her road to recovery, Black Iron Gym owner Krissy Mae Cagney discovered that exercise improved her sobriety. “Over the years, the only time that I would be able to stay sober longer than a couple of days is when I was really committed to the gym.” She went from alcohol-induced seizures to becoming a sober business owner trying to help others in recovery. Read her compelling story in People. Exercises that involve cardio seem to be wise choices, but make sure your doctor clears you. If you can’t do a heavy cardio workout, even walking can help. Maintaining Your Health For The Long Term Even with a fitness routine, you may be concerned that you can maintain a healthy, substance-free lifestyle for the long haul. You can achieve this but you need to establish a firm foundation. Here’s how: Make sure you have a network to support your fitness goals. In fact, you may want to partner with a friend to work out together. Get a good night’s sleep. Most adults need at least seven hours of sleep per night. If you are struggling with insomnia or sleeplessness, discuss this with your counselor. Eat a balanced diet. This does not have to be complicated. The Ranch

Tennessee notes that a diet filled with healthy proteins, like fish and lean meats, fresh produce, legumes, and whole-grain foods is an excellent choice for those in recovery. If you feel like you could use some help staying clean, research the in-state addiction treatment centers in your area. Don’t just check reviews; look for centers that have treatment philosophies that will be a good fit for your personality and situation, as well. Reduce stress in your life. While exercise will help keep stress low and reduce inactivity (particularly for those who work from home), you should also make sure your schedule and workload are not overwhelming. Take 15 minutes every Sunday to write out a schedule for your week, including your support groups, therapies, and fitness routine. This simple practice can motivate you to keep going forward. Exercise is beneficial for physical and mental health, particularly for people in recovery. Talk to your doctor and get started on a routine that supports your journey. Fit Full Force is here to help you build the body you deserve. Call 352-639-4348

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