It helps improve your health, mind and physique. But there are a lot more benefits than just doing it for health reasons. For people recovering from alcohol or drug addiction, it’s good to work on your confidence and self esteem. Whether you were bullied, overweight, or had trouble making friends, exercising can help.
But it’s especially crucial for someone recovering from substance abuse. You get a high feeling when you work out, replacing the high feeling you’d get from smoking or drinking. It might not be as intense as the high you used to feel, but it does release the same endorphins which provide some pleasurable release. Research also shows that adding physical workouts on top of other sober treatments (meetings, medications, groups, etc.) strengthens the effects of recovery.
Working out can also help control your feelings and thoughts a little more. You might be feeling depressed, angry or frustrated at the beginning of your sobriety. Working on your health and fitness can control your feelings more, making you stable in recovery. Exercising builds your body up more, preparing you to feel confident in yourself.
If you haven’t worked out before, don’t feel scared to start it up! Start small, maybe 30 mins, 3-5 days a week. Once you start working out more, you’ll feel your body building up and strengthening out. As you continue to work out, you’ll notice physical and emotional changes in your body. You’ll be able to carry heavier weight, work out for a longer period of time, and feel proud. Overall, it’s a great feeling to have when you get done with the gym after a long day of work and meetings. Fitness can be a great stress reliever.
As recovering addicts, it’s good to have days structured out so you know what you’re doing each day. One of the things you can schedule is workouts. If you plan to work out for a half hour Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, you can work around your schedule for any other activities. That’s also the same with signing up for a group lesson. If Zumba is happening every Tuesday and Thursday at 6:30 pm, schedule it in so you have a plan each week.