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4 reasons why exercise matters in recovery

January 28, 2017

 

One of the things you may have noticed over the course of your addiction recovery is that your physical health isn’t what it used to be. When you were using, your health probably wasn’t high on your daily priority list, but now is the time to change all that and start feeling better in every area of your being. Here are four reasons why exercise can help during your recovery and get your life back on track.

 

1. It reduces and relieves stress

Whether you’re at work or just lounging at home, stress and tension can be a part of your life. Tension can even build up from things like just having poor posture when you’re watching TV. As noted by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, exercise will help you reduce stress and tension, and can give your cognitive functions a boost (https://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/related-illnesses/other-related-conditions/stress/physical-activity-reduces-st).

 

2. It releases your “feel good” chemicals naturally

When you exercise, your brain releases endorphins, which make you feel good in a natural way. The same sort of chemicals would have been released when you were using, but since that was unnatural, it created an imbalance that harmed your ability to feel pleasure, satisfaction and happiness. By reintroducing endorphins into your system in a natural way, you’ll feel better and reteach your body that it can regulate your mood in a healthy, natural way.

 

3. It’s “meditation in motion”

When you’re getting physical, you forget about everything that is going on in your life and just focus on the now and what you’re doing. This is a benefit of meditation, too, since it allows you to focus on your well-being and not everything that is swirling around you at the moment. After exercise, you will feel optimistic and rejuvenated, with a stronger sense of clarity.

 

4. It boosts your outlook

People who exercise regularly tend to experience less anxiety and depression and have a more positive outlook on life. This is partly due to your body calibrating and regulating itself when you work out, but it’s also linked to the feelings of achievement, pride and satisfaction you will experience when sticking to a workout routine. Set yourself goals and benchmarks so you can start feeling success as you recover from your addiction. 

Exercise is beneficial to anyone who is recovering from substance abuse, so get started on a program of your own today. You’ll feel happier, healthier and stronger as you move toward rebuilding your life!

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