Incorporating Exercise into Your Recovery

Healthy Exercise Routine

At The River Source, we integrate various physical exercises and activities into every stage of our treatment program. But you know as well as we do that recovery is a lifelong journey, and that the tools and skills you learn during your treatment can be used long after your rehab with us is over.

Maintaining an active lifestyle and practicing a healthy exercise routine has many benefits, especially when it comes to addiction rehab and recovery! Here’s a few of the reasons why you should stay active during your recovery:

Exercise Can Reduce Stress

Many addicts resort to using substances to decrease the negative emotional side effects of stress. The problem here is that this doesn’t cause stress to go away — we just hide from it, without addressing the causes of that stress. There are healthier ways to reduce stress without worsening underlying causes. One of those is through exercise.

Participating in any physical activity that increases the heart rate will promote stress reduction. It’s during exercise that you can release the physical, mental, and emotional tensions that have build up in your body throughout the day.
Releasing these tensions in a safe, responsible manner can help you rid yourself of negativity and will leave you feeling healthy and refreshed.

Stay Active for Better Sleep

Often, a source of stress is not getting enough sleep, and the last thing you want to do is turn to using habit-forming sleep medications to help you get a good night’s rest. However, by simply maintaining a regular exercise routine, you can improve both the quantity and quality of your sleep.

During work outs, your body temperature increases, and a few hours later, it begins to cool faster than normal. This post-exercise drop in temperature can help promote sleep. Sleep can also be affected by problems with the body’s circadian rhythm, but exercise can help shift and adjust your body’s natural clock so that you can get the sleep you need.

Working Out Can Improve Your Mood

Using drugs, alcohol, and other addictive substances cause the brain to release endorphins, chemicals that relieve stress and pain. Exercising releases these same endorphins, but in a much healthier way.

We incorporate physical activity into the detox portion of programming because it helps clients in recovery restore their body’s natural endorphins. We recommend continuing a regular workout routine because of its ability to provide you with the encouragement and motivation needed to push forward in a sober lifestyle.

An Exercise Routine Adds Structure to Your Life

Many who are recovering from addiction find comfort in having a daily routine — a checklist of activities that give their days the structure they need to stay clean. Working out, running, and other daily exercise routines can offer that structure.

When you dedicate time and energy to self-improvement and hard work on a daily basis, the results will speak for themselves. If you’re having difficulty finding motivation to work out or are struggling to hold yourself to a routine, consider finding an exercise partner or joining a team sport.

At The River Source, we know how powerful it is to have the support and encouragement of others, and this can be applied throughout all stages of recovery – even as you exercise. If you’re looking for a workout buddy or team to join, consider reaching out to your sober network: The River Source Alumni Program hosts meetings at the outpatient facility in Gilbert every Saturday at 10 AM!

Time To Get To Work!

When combined with other treatments, exercise has been shown to produce positive results on both neurobiological and behavioral health. In an analysis of various studies, it was found that exercising regularly can improve abstinence rates and can be an effective and persistent treatment for those with substance use disorders. [1]

Whether you’re playing volleyball, lifting weights, or are just taking a casual stroll, bumping up your physical activity can help you keep your recovery on track!


About the Author

Director of Marketing and Admissions

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