Many researchers claim the effectiveness of exercise when it comes to aiding addiction recovery. What are the best ways to incorporate physical activity into your recovery plan? Read further to find out more.
Recovery can be a long journey that will sometimes be a lifelong process. This is why recovery plans should be realistic and should be something that you can pattern a new lifestyle with. Whether it’s taking on new habits, finding a new set of friends, or getting up in the morning for your exercise–recovery requires you to build a routine to be successful.
One of the best things you can include in your routine is exercise. Exercise is one of the most-recommended strategies to help curb addictions. The nature of physical activity allows the natural release of serotonin, a feel-good hormone responsible for the elevation of mood. Plus, being healthy makes you feel good! These are the other benefits of exercise:
Exercise can help reduce substance use and cravings
It can restore brain cells that are damaged by a previous addiction
It can help improve your sleep
It helps reduce stress and anxiety
It helps give a structure and routine, filling up a void where addictions used to take place.
Having enumerated these benefits, what are the best ways to help you get a recovery workout?
Top 5 Ways to Get a Recovery Workout
1. Stick with a schedule.
Most people in recovery have the attitude but have a problem with consistency. Consistency helps form a habit, and without it, it is impossible to be successful in your workout routine. The first thing you have to do is pick a schedule that you feel is most optimal–some choose the mornings so that it is out of the way with everything they have to do. Others prefer afternoons when they can be more physically strong. Whatever schedule it is, make sure to pick the one you can stick the most with.
2. Choose a physical activity that you enjoy.
Consequently, it is difficult to be consistent with an activity you dread doing. If you are struggling to wake up in the morning just to get 30 pushups and situps, maybe you have to join Zumba classes instead. Here is a list of possible types of exercise that you can either do at home, in the gym or attend special classes. Do not be hesitant to try something that interests you, but make sure to stick with something that works for you.
If it does feel like a routine, make sure to alternate a couple of exercise types from time to time.
3. Work out with friends.
What is the best way not to skip a workout day? It would probably be to work out with your best buddies! Make sure to find workout friends who support your goals for recovery and can push you to avoid skipping another day. Additionally, they can give you something to look forward to, especially if you join classes or exercise groups. When two or more people do it together, it is more likely to be successful.
4. Pair your exercise with a healthy diet.
It can be difficult to stay physically active if you are not eating right. Moreso, exercise becomes less effective if the body doesn’t have the right nutrients to build muscle, improve circulation, and help your body to recover. Exercising and diet are like inseparable siblings; they always go hand in hand. A recommended diet for recovery includes whole, nutritious foods packed with lean protein, whole grains, and loads of vegetables and fruits. If you eat healthily, the more your body will be accustomed to different types of physical activity.
5. Don’t let it slip.
Sure, it is forgivable if you skip a day or a few days. But like recovery and relapse, skipping a day doesn’t mean you lose the chance to be consistent forever. Take another day missed as a challenge to keep working out and return to it again. This can also train your mind and body to focus less on moods and emotions but rather more on the habit, consistency, and perseverance that you desire to form.
There is Success in Working Out for Recovery
Once you follow these tips, you are on your way to forming workout habits that will help in your recovery. Be sure to enjoy, find support, and keep consistency for the best results.
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Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.
Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.