When seeking to break the compulsive patterns of addiction, there are many resources and tools that individuals can use. One of the most notable resources is a professional treatment program. While a person participates in treatment, they must work to instill healthier behaviors in their lives to effectively navigate the lasting effects of their substance use on their mind, body, and soul. Thus, exercising in sobriety becomes an invaluable tool to assist in healing and recovery.
The Health Benefits of Exercise
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health.” Incorporating exercise into a daily routine has a plethora of benefits for a person’s health and well-being, including:
- Improved brain health
- Weight management
- Reduced risk of chronic diseases
- Strengthened bones and muscles
- Improved ability to complete everyday tasks and activities
The Physiology of Exercise
Many people are informed about the benefits of exercise, yet they may still struggle to understand why exercise is so valuable for mental and physical wellness. An article in the book Physiology, Exercise by Parth N. Patel and Hallie Zwibel highlights specific reasons why exercise is so powerful for healing, stating the following:
Compared to our resting state, exercise poses a substantial increase in demand for the body. At rest, our nervous system maintains a parasympathetic tone, which affects the respiratory rate, cardiac output, and various metabolic processes. Exercise stimulates the sympathetic nervous system and will induce an integrated response from the body; This response works to maintain an appropriate level of homeostasis for the increased demand in physical, metabolic, respiratory, and cardiovascular efforts.
In other words, exercise stimulates all of the body’s internal systems to produce greater internal balance when a person rests. Increased blood flow from exercise increases oxygen levels in the body, which can foster direct growth and healing for internal organs and muscles – especially the heart.
Exercise also improves mental health and mood as the body releases excess endorphins. Endorphins are hormones that work with the brain’s chemical receptors to reduce a person’s perception of pain, reduce stress, and improve mood. With regular and consistent exercise, a person can experience a greater sense of stability in their mood and overall health.
The Value of Exercising in Sobriety
Those seeking healing from substance abuse must recognize the incredible value of exercising in sobriety. Substance abuse interferes with an individual’s ability to experience joy and pleasure from natural rewards. Additionally, substance abuse wreaks havoc on a person’s sense of self, often fostering malnutrition. In turn, exercise can help to address several of the physical and mental complications that may result from chronic addiction.
First and foremost, regularly participating in exercise can serve as a stress management tool. It can help to protect a person against potential relapse by offering an outlet for stress and other difficult emotions that may arise in recovery. Next, incorporating exercise into an individual’s daily routine can foster deeper motivation and purpose for sobriety. It can help to treat ailments, malnutrition, and other consequences that may have developed as a result of substance abuse.
Furthermore, there is no question that brain structure and associated functioning are inevitably affected by substance use. Fortunately, exercise can work to retrain and restructure the brain over time as a result of excess endorphins. It can offer a healthy “high” that is good for both the brain and body without contributing to a hangover.
Exercising in Sobriety
It is not uncommon for individuals to be turned off by the idea of exercise. Unfortunately, these people may have a skewed idea of how exciting and joyful exercising in sobriety can be. For those that do not enjoy more common forms of exercise, such as running or biking, here are some fun suggestions for exercising in sobriety:
- Playing a sport
- Taking a Zumba class
- Participating in yoga
- Rock climbing
Lantana’s Approach to Exercising in Sobriety
Lantana Recovery is an addiction treatment facility that offers a wide range of treatment programs for those seeking recovery from substance use disorder (SUD) and addiction. Our programs are dedicated to treating the entire person rather than treating just a disorder or its symptoms. At Lantana, we prioritize the use of horticulture therapy and other “outside the box” approaches to recovery, especially noting our fitness class offerings in treatment.
We understand that recovery from substance abuse requires more than solely ceasing use. It involves addressing any underlying factors that may have contributed to substance use as well as any factors that may lead to future perpetration of use. We value exercising in sobriety as it can help to rebuild self-esteem, allowing clients to discover hobbies and activities that can foster deeper meaning for their sober lives. In addition to fitness class offerings, some of the specific physical activities we offer include:
- Beach volleyball
Those seeking treatment and recovery can feel confident in their decision to utilize treatment services at Lantana.
Exercising in sobriety can provide stress relief, improve mood, and foster greater motivation for lasting recovery. If you are seeking recovery from substance use disorder (SUD) and its effects, Lantana Recovery can help. We offer several treatment programs that can be individualized to fit your unique needs and goals for recovery. We believe in the value of exercising in sobriety, which is why we can incorporate various elements of physical activity into your treatment plan. We offer fitness classes, among other opportunities for physical exercise, to foster both mental and physical wellness for all of our clients. For more information and support, give us a call today at (866) 997-2870.