When a person uses drugs or alchol, their body often takes quite a beating. Over time, this can take a toll on their health which is often negatively affected.
For me, while I still managed to look decent (the 15 pounds that I could never manage to loose prior to using was finally gone), from a health standpoint, I was far from healthy.
Addiction can change your body chemistry and once those harmful substances are removed, you may be left feeling pretty out of whack. It’s not uncommon for people new to recovery to report feeling anxious, depressed and overly sensitive to life’s stressors. Both emotionally and physically your body needs to readjust to what “normal” feels like.
The good news is that it doesn’t take much to shift things around and physical activity may be just the thing to bring about some balance to your mood and body!
Whether you are new to recovery or you have been away from harmful substances for a while, there are several benefits to getting regular exercise that will help you in your recovery as well as with your long term sobriety as well.
To start, exercise helps you feel great physically. Exercise releases endorphins which are chemicals in the brain that help your body cope with pain or stress. They be often referred to as “feel-good” chemicals because well…they make you feel good.
Exercise also helps to increase energy and there are even studies that have been done showing that it helps to prevent disease. According to The Office of Disease Prevention, it had been reported that regular exercise will helps protect your body from certain conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, stroke, osteoporosis and depression.
In addition to all of the physical benefits that exercise has, it will also helps to reduce stress. Stress can be a major trigger for relapse. By reducing stress levels, you will not only feel much better but you also stand a better chance a maintaining your sobriety.
To top it off, exercise can also help you sleep better. Now that those substances are gone, you will need something that is non-addictive to implement as a substitute. Regular exercise is the perfect tool to do that!
Don’t worry…you don’t have to start training for a marathon to reap the benefits of exercise. It could literally be anything as long as it gets your heart rate up and your body moving.
For me, it started with just taking my dogs out for a walk. Short walks turned into longer walks which in turn challenging hikes. Lately, I just started to get into yoga and I can’t even begin to tell you Howe good I feel…bothering physically and emotionally.
Did you know that there has been extensive research that shows that walking for 30 minutes a day, several days a week, can reap all of the benefits of more vigorous activities? Just get out (preferably outside) and move your body….it and your recovery will thank you for it later!