The secret to battling addictions is to have a healthy body and mind because they work as a shield against cravings. When speaking about cravings, they can vary from an appetite for food, passion for shopping, thirst for alcohol or urge to use drugs. Addictions are different even if the general term that defines them is the same. A healthy diet and plenty of sleep are the perfect weapons for a recovery toolbox. Fitness is great because it helps you stay away from bad habits, and fight negative thoughts that often trigger addiction patterns.
For people struggling with addiction, it’s more challenging to commit to a fitness regimen because at the start they strive to follow a healthy diet and workout regimen, hardly find time for exercising or fail to come back on track once they fall off. But, we should also mention that even the average individual fails to stick to a healthy fitness regimen from the beginning because over 70% of the people who set fitness goals as New Year’s resolutions gave up before meeting their goals.
But if you’re battling addiction do your best to adopt a good exercise regimen, even if this means working with a trainer because they can support you through the recovery process.
The advantages of getting fit when battling addiction
No one will lie to you, recovery is hard and you need to be strong to cut it out of your life. Battling addiction stresses your body and mind because your body has to learn to function when sober, and fight withdrawal symptoms if you experience a detox process. And once in a while, your mind screams for the substance you used to shut down frustrations and emotions. This constant battle can leave you overwhelmed and stressed out, but it’s part of the process and you must be brave if you want to come clean.
Fitness is a healthy and rewarding way to relieve stress and deal with the recovery process, and brings many benefits along the way.
It builds additional energy reserves
The exercises you perform at the gym torn apart your muscle tissue, so when you rest your body has to rebuild it and so you get a stronger body than before. Not only your muscles are stronger but also the arteries and capillaries that carry blood around them. Each workout boosts your endurance levels and you’ll be able to complete more complex exercises in time. In addition, research proves that sedentary people who enroll in a regular exercise program increase their energy levels and reduce fatigue.
It improves your mood
During the workout, your body releases endorphins so if you’re fighting anxiety and depression exercises can help you improve your mood. Endorphins make you happier, and this feeling of compelling will convince you to return to the gym in the future because you’ll want to maintain your good mood. Fitness may convince you to replace your old craving with a new positive one, called workout addiction. Because you feel happier when exercising you’ll spend more time at the gym shredding your body.
It lowers stress levels
Fitness allows you to get rid of negative emotions like stress and anxiety in a natural way. A daily session of cardio sweats stress out, and helps you achieve an improved mood. Every time your emotions make you crave for alcohol, drugs or food have a 30-minute walk or bike session. It removes all negative emotions from your awareness and helps you stick to your recovery program.
It gives you a new healthy hobby
When you give up on substances and start the recovery program you remove a significant part of your life and create a void. You need to fill it with something, and fitness is one of the activities that can stop you from turning back to drugs or alcohol. When you fight your addiction, you stop seeing some of your old friends because they are a bad influence. So, you have plenty of free time and nothing to do. A gym subscription introduces you to new people passionate about fitness, so you’ll forge some new social bonds with people who won’t tempt you into any bad habit. If you join a drug or alcohol rehab their experienced counsellors may recommend you to follow an exercise program to prevent relapse.
It improves sleep
Exercises draw energy out of your body, so it will naturally need sleep to recharge and revitalise. You’ll no longer suffer from insomnia, which often triggers cravings. Getting quality sleep establishes a healthy pattern and support your long-term recovery goals.
Recommended types of fitness
The beauty of fitness is that there’s no right or wrong answer. You can pick the exercise you like the most and get great results. But here are some ideas that can support your efforts.
Yoga – it maximizes the effects of rehab because it focuses on both mind and body. Yoga teaches you to focus on the present moment, so you’ll learn to stay away from worries and struggles. It’s an effective help in fighting anxiety and cravings because meditation clears your mind and removes negative emotions.
Hiking – you can take baby steps when it comes to hiking. You don’t need to explore a mountain since day one, you can go for a hike in the local forest or park. Alongside working out your muscles, it allows you to feel the warmth of the sun on your skin, and gain a new perspective by discovering the beauty of nature. It teaches you that the recovery process is complex and every step is essential.
Swimming – sometimes substance abuse damages your physical health so you need to practice a sport that makes your body buoyant. Water aerobics and swim laps allow you to exercise without putting pressure on your muscles and joints. Water has a calming and soothing effect, and it helps you relax and have a better sleep.
Exercise is good whether you’re in the middle of the recovery process or completed rehab and you want to prevent relapse. Choose a fitness routine you’re comfortable with and allow exercises to help you build a healthy and balanced life.