According to research, individuals who follow an exercise routine on a regular basis are less prone to substance abuse. This is due to the endorphins and dopamine, morphine-like brain chemicals that are natural stress and pain fighters, which are released during active physical activity. Constantly having these helpful neurotransmitters thus helps you steer clear of unhealthy coping mechanisms such as drinking alcohol or doing drugs.
Now, in the case of people who have nonetheless fallen into the trap of addiction, exercise has also been found to be a beneficial strategy for combating drug and alcohol abuse, keeping relapses at bay and increasing general well-being. Therefore, it would be best if you consider choosing a women’s treatment center that promotes and follows a healthy exercise regimen in its rehab and recovery plan.
Here are seven ways exercise can help during rehab.
- Exercise helps release mood-enhancing endorphins in the body, which help mitigate a recovering individual’s experience of anhedonia, or the inability to feel pleasure in activities usually enjoyed. This lackluster feeling, which should be expected along with other symptoms of withdrawal, can be kept in check simply through a regular dose of exercise.
- Aside from endorphins, dopamine is another happiness-inducing chemical released through physical activity. Therefore, when we exercise, we become simultaneously fitter and happier. As a matter of fact, there are studies showing that a person’s pre-abuse dopamine levels can be restored through exercise.
- Exercise can dramatically reduce cravings by taking your mind off of the memory of drug or alcohol enjoyment. In other words, exercise provides a healthy alternative and outlet for the suppressed desire for drugs or alcohol. In this way, you can emerge from your detox program unscathed and without succumbing to your unhealthy cravings.
- More than the sole purpose of combating cravings exercise simultaneously helps in improving a person’s overall health and wellbeing. It somehow counters the physical damage done by excessive drinking or drug abuse, as well as relieves mental stress associated with addiction. Through Yoga offered in most women’s rehab centers, for instance, the body is stretched, strengthened and toned in a less strenuous approach, thus releasing toxins and letting go of all stress and anxiety. By slowing things down and calmly listening to your body, your risks of rushing into unhealthy life choices are diminished.
- A regular exercise routine somehow or other provides a healthy structure or model to be followed even after rehab. Adapting this newfound discipline and applying it even when you go back to your mainstream life outside of rehab proves to be highly beneficial indeed. By following a more disciplined and better-structured daily schedule, you are gaining more control of your life and positively limiting your chances of relapsing back into your old and destructive habits. In a nutshell, your quality of life can drastically improve simply by adding exercise to your life.
- Exercise promotes a positive body image. By attempting to become more physically active and fit, you are redirecting your focus to looking and feeling healthy, instead of wiling away your detox days doing nothing and thinking excessively about the negative aspects of life, which are surefire ways of giving in to your cravings and relapsing.
- During the detox and clearing process, your morale and zest for life are way down low. Exercise can help raise your energy levels to keep your progress in constant and steady motion towards recovery success and sobriety. This lifestyle change also helps increase your confidence to accomplish more in life. Once you conquer and overcome your addiction, then you can feel even more confident to face other life challenges.
However, like all other things in life, too much exercise can be detrimental to your health. Exercise can also be addictive and may cause unhealthy weight loss, malnutrition, and physical injury. Therefore, it should be done in moderation. There are reputable women’s rehab centers that provide dieticians and specialists to guide clients all throughout their rehab journey.