Many people know the benefits of physical fitness; not only does it keep you healthy, it can boost your self-esteem, keep you social, and help elevate your mental health. For those who are battling an addiction, exercise can help in all those ways and more. It’s important for people in recovery to feel that they are in control of something, and working out can provide structure to the day and allow you to plan out exactly what your activities will be.
Staying fit can help you create a healthy plan for the long-term; having a routine you can stick to will keep you motivated and may push you toward making good decisions. It can also help you practice mindfulness, which is often associated with yoga and meditation. Activities like running, walking, and swimming are great ways to focus on your breathing and stay in the moment, allowing you to push away negative feelings like stress and anxiety. Keep reading for some great info on how physical fitness and addiction recovery are linked.
Find an activity you love
Engaging in physical fitness doesn’t have to be all about hitting the gym for a workout; you can find an activity you enjoy — such as yoga, swimming, or golfing — and do it often, getting the benefits of both exercise for your body and relaxation for your mind. Reducing stress and anxiety is essential in preventing an addiction relapse, and practicing an activity that you enjoy will boost your mood and help you find healthy ways to cope.
Getting daily exercise is one of the best ways to keep your overall health up, and that includes getting enough rest. Good sleep is essential for all of us, and individuals who are in recovery often have a hard time getting to sleep or staying there. Working out for at least 30 minutes a day will help release chemicals in your brain that will help you feel happy and relaxed, and all that physical activity will allow you to fall into bed ready to sleep at the end of the day.
Treat your bones and muscles right
Regular exercise in the form of an activity like golf can help keep your bones, muscles, and joints healthy. Not only that, all the walking required can help reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack and can boost brain and memory function. Keeping your hip and knee joints in good shape can decrease the risk of falls and injuries, making golf a great way to stay in shape.
Create a long-term plan
Mixing a workout with something you enjoy — such as a sport — can help you stay motivated enough to keep it up, meaning you can create a long-term plan for your health. Focusing on feeling good will boost your self-esteem and confidence, allowing you to experience positive personal growth on a new level.
Exercise can help you get social, something that’s often difficult for individuals in recovery. You may have lost connections you once had, or perhaps you feel it’s in your best interest to move away from the people who used to be big influences in your life. Joining a golf club, a running group, or swimming at the local YMCA can help you make new connections with like-minded people.
Supplementing your recovery with physical fitness can help you feel good about yourself while you practice self-care, something that is essential in order to heal. Talk to your friends and family about your plans, and set attainable goals in the beginning in order to stay motivated. With a little preparation, you can make your recovery a success.
Article credit to: Susan Treadway