By in Health & Fitness

Guest Article: Kick the Habit: Exercise Your Way to Recovery

Recovery From Substance Abuse

Every person with a substance abuse disorder encounters their own version of a path to recovery. In conjunction with your other treatment, consider starting a workout regimen. Exercise can help you manage your mental and physical health and prevent relapse. To help you get started, Motivation Thoughts offers the following tips.

Boost Your Endorphins

Endorphins are natural chemicals produced to relieve your body of stress and pain. Like opioids, they create a feeling of euphoria and may combat symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Depression and substance abuse can play off of one another. For example, a person with depression may self-medicate, and, in turn, substance use can exacerbate depression. Withdrawal from drugs and alcohol can also result in symptoms of depression.

Vigorous physical activity can produce what many call the "runner's high." This is a euphoric feeling caused by increased endorphins after exercise. According to the National Library of Medicine, research indicates that swimming reduces the severity of dependence on morphine . In the study, scientists examined how exercise affects the development of dependency and morphine withdrawal in rats. Sedentary rats experienced more withdrawal symptoms than their active counterparts.

Stay Motivated

Did you know that music can increase stimulation? When you blast your favorite song, you're more likely to feel mobile and motivated. Music can also reduce fatigue so that you have more energy for your workout.

To stay on the right path, choose exercises that you enjoy. Aerobic exercises are beneficial to your recovery and mood and include:

  • Swimming
  • Jump rope
  • Running
  • Biking

If you choose to bike outside , the outdoors can help reduce your symptoms of depression or anxiety.

Technology can also enhance your workout. Use smart apps and fitness watches to keep track of your health goals. Wearable technology can monitor your heart rate, keep track of your steps and track your location. Using apps and watches can give you a visual of your progress and your hurdles to help you remain on track.

Streaming services are also available. Whether you work out at home on the treadmill or at the gym, technology allows you to connect with personal trainers and others on their fitness journey. You do not need a fitness coach in person to reach your goals.

Refocus Your Mind

When going through rehabilitation, it is normal to feel an increase in stress levels. Exercise introduces a new, healthy coping mechanism into your life. Instead of drugs or alcohol, you can turn to your fitness routine. If you include yoga, you can learn breathing exercises and ways to lower your blood pressure. Meditation and yoga have been known to calm nerves and help you to focus on recovery and face trauma rather than using substance abuse as an escape.

During a yoga session, the postures are meant to increase your concentration and self-discipline. With every session, you should feel stronger and more flexible. The aches and pains you experience during withdrawal may subside. If you’re planning on exercising from home, keep your workout space clean and free of clutter to reduce stress and improve focus.

Recovery is a different journey for everyone. While full of obstacles, you have the strength necessary to persevere. By establishing a regular workout routine, you enhance your mental and physical strength, allowing you to fight harder against the chance of relapse.

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