As you might expect, drug addicts tend to be neglectful of their health. They not only avoid personal responsibilities but hurt ties to family and friends as well as mental and emotional health. Drugs in excess can even hurt a person’s physical health, or make them completely forget to take care of themselves.
While taking care of psychological health is among the most crucial steps for treatment, it goes hand-in-hand with physical health. In fact, physical fitness is heavily tied to mental health.
Physical fitness in recovery provides a variety of benefits you might have never considered or expected to yield for addiction. It can provide relief as well as develop healthy habits to replace the dangerous ones.
Stress is, unfortunately, a natural part of life. As such, the body has natural remedies to help alleviate stress—including physical fitness and exercise.
Over the years, people have generally become less physically fit, while also in a world where stress is higher than ever. This had made drug and alcohol abuse on a rise to take care of the stress while being neglectful of physical health.
Exercise can benefit mental and emotional health in ways you would not expect. When you exercise, the brain releases chemicals called endorphins that give you a natural and positive emotional high.
Exercise can not only improve your physical health and help relieve stress but also boost your self-esteem. Exercise has been proven to reduce both anxiety and depression, in turn disposing of a lot of negative emotions. Anxiety and depression have been linked to low self-esteem, and are common reasons that people abuse drugs in the first place.
Maintaining physical fitness helps stimulate positive chemicals in the brain, but additionally can help with physique and weight loss. Addicts tend to neglect their health and even gain weight, with infamous traits such as the “beer belly.” By exercising, you not only discourage this decline in health but are able to take better physical care of the body.
Along with weight loss, focusing on exercise can help build muscle strength and even help you sleep better. The latter is particularly important, as some addicts abuse alcohol or sleeping pills because of problems with insomnia. Implementing a healthy amount of exercise can encourage the body to get more restful sleep.
Practicing New Healthy Habits
Drug and alcohol abuse creates destructive habits—making blackouts and memory loss normal and encourage hanging out with friends who share these unhealthy behaviors. After leaving rehab, you may feel voids as you drop these activities and find it difficult to seek replacements.
Exercise not only works as a replacement but a much healthier one. With physical and psychological benefits, regular exercise can help keep your body and mind occupied with engaging activities. Physical fitness also lowers your chances of health risks, such as cancer, diabetes, and hypertension, and helps stimulate the immune system, brain, and blood circulation to healthy levels.
Adopting exercise as part of your regular routine does not just reduce reliance on unhealthy addictions, but encourages greater health. It can help give you a new focus while building up your body and mind into better positions than ever.
If you or a loved one is struggling with drug or alcohol addiction, contact a local Treatment & Rehab alternative in Tennessee. You might be interested in Discovery Place’s own treatment center alternatives, such as our 30 Day Residential Addiction Recovery Program or our Long Term Recovery Program in Burns, Tennessee. Call us for a free consultation at 1-800-725-0922.