Too much dismay society has painted a picture that addiction recovery includes hospitalization, IV treatments, and group counseling. Addiction recovery is so more and can even include a more natural approach. Physical activity in combination with exercise can take your recovery to new heights. Whether you are taking the necessary steps towards your sobriety or getting in the right mindset to begin your recovery, recovery can start within yourself and as simple as getting outside.
The main goal for any addiction recovery routine works to restore your brains equilibrium for chemicals like dopamine. This is one of the most important chemicals that drug and alcohol abuse disrupts. Physical activity during recovery helps increase dopamine in the brain which results in helping our mood in a positive way. The physical activity connected to increasing dopamine in the brain has shown to help return dopamine levels to their previous states before the acts of drug and alcohol abuse.
Practicing and maintaining an exercise routine every week not only helps you physically but also mentally. More importantly it helps keep your mind off of using again. Given the positive results that are coming from physical activity, rehab centers are including exercising and physical activity into their treatment methods. Like any treatments that are used to treat addiction, different exercises affect the mind, body, and soul. With the first day of summer, now is the perfect time to get in shape and add such activities to your daily routine.
Many rehab centers include yoga as part of their ongoing treatment program for their clients. Yoga helps limber the body which affects your mental and physical status. Power yoga focuses on strengthening the body, which releases dopamine in the brain. Less intense “restorative” yoga plunges helps with unpacking anxiety and stress that can trigger relapse.
Going outside can help increase dopamine levels during treatment. It has been found that a fifteen minute walk can aid in fighting off cravings when they occur. A brisk stroll outside can also boost overall brain function by supporting new brain cell growth.
Cardio routines like walking and running can be your thing, but lifting a few weights also has recovery benefits. Many recovering addicts suffer from insomnia, as they are unable to sleep without using. Weight training or bodyweight exercises like push-ups can help reboot the body’s sleep cycle over time.
Interacting with like-minded individuals provide even more then what occurs on the surface. The friendship built playing casual team games can be a crucial piece to long-term recovery. Forming new relationships that don’t revolve around drinking or using drugs helps recovering addicts feel integrated back into society.
Maintaining these physical exercises can boost self-confidence during recovery, all while releasing dopamine in the brain. The memories made during these exercise therapies can be strong reminders that you’re capable of overcoming any literal or figurative hurdle.
Drug addiction recovery equips you with the skills to stay sober after treatment ends. Those tools might include writing exercises or self-help therapies. You might also bring home a new yoga pose or workout program and a healthier body and mind.
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- RESOURCE: Sweating it Out: Exercise and Addiction Recovery
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