5 Facts Every Addict Needs to Know About Recovery and Fitness
by Constance Ray
Did you know that one in 10 Americans struggles with drug or alcohol addiction? Despite that staggering number, only about 11% of those battling addiction actually seek treatment. If you are in recovery for your own addiction, you’ve already come further than most addicts, but there are simple steps you can take to improve your recovery efforts. Getting into a regular fitness routine is one of the most effective of the self-improvement steps you can use to enhance your recovery. Let fitness lead you to your goals by keeping these helpful facts in mind.
Fitness Can Help Fix Your Self-Esteem
Addiction is a disease, and you should be proud that you’re seeking treatment. Of course, it doesn’t always feel that way. Many recovering addicts suffer from feelings of shame, which can cause their self-esteem to decline. If you’re not feeling great, getting fit might help boost your mood and improve the way you feel about yourself. Having confidence is important in feeling comfortable in your professional and personal life, and it can help you avoid feelings of depression. Staying confident can also help you stay positive during recovery and conquer your addiction with pride.
You’ll Gain Back Control Over Your Body
Substance abusers are often left feeling as though their lives have gotten out of control. Your wants, needs, and world revolved around your chosen drug. Creating and obtaining physical health goals can help center you and bring back some of that control. With fitness, you are in control of the way your body looks and the way you feel. You can push your body to do things you never thought you could accomplish, including running a marathon or hiking to the top of a mountain. Conquering these fitness goals gives you a sense of self-fulfillment and power over the way you live your life.
Healthy Habits Offer Long-Term Life Benefits
One of the perks of a comprehensive addiction treatment plan is that you walk away with skills and tools you can use for the rest of your life. Making improvements in your diet and exercise habits now will help you improve your chances of living a long, healthy life. To help your healthy habits stick, start small and work yourself up to bigger changes. Avoid being too hard on yourself if you fail. Failure is a natural part of life and learning to deal with it positively can help you stay sober, focused, and on track with the goals in all areas of your life.
The Right Exercises Can Help You Reach Your Goals
Workouts aren’t always universal. It’s important to find exercises that work for you and evolve your workout to maintain the challenge to your body and mind. Start with simple activity, like walking on a treadmill or sweating on a stationary bike, and gradually add in a little weight training and aerobics. If you find yourself getting bored at the gym, try changing things up or think of ways to take your workout outside. If you really need a challenge, think about setting a major goal and making small steps towards reaching it. Your top priority should be to stay focused and positive, but be careful of overdoing it. You could end up with a serious injury or even another form of addiction, so don’t let fitness completely take over your life.
Exercise Crushes Cravings, Triggers, and Stress
Through your treatment, you’ll learn the dangers of cravings and triggers. Something as simple as being bored or overstressed can result in a relapse that could throw your recovery off track. Exercise can eliminate the triggers and stress that lead to cravings and relapse by encouraging the production of endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals created to help keep you happy and relieve negative/painful feelings. Increasing endorphins through exercise and activities can help you stay clean.
Fitness should be a part of any health plan, and that includes addiction recovery. Exercise control over your treatment by making a commitment to exercise and health.
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