According to a recent survey, 19.7 million Americans over the age of 12 had a substance use disorder in 2017.
Recovering from drug or alcohol addiction is a multifaceted process. When combined with other types of treatment,
exercise provides many benefits for those going through the recovery process.
Helping Your Body
Many people struggle with maintaining a healthy weight while recovering from substance use. This is particularly
true for people who quit smoking as part of the recovery process because smoking suppresses appetite. Exercise can
help you reach or stay at a healthy weight and strengthen your muscles and bones.
Additionally, exercising for at least 150 minutes per week may lower your risk for diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular
disease, and other chronic conditions. It may also stimulate the formation of new nerve connections, which can help
your brain heal from the harmful effects of substance use.
Helping Your Mind
Mental health issues such as anxiety and depression are common in people with addiction. When you exercise, your
body releases endorphins. Endorphins affect receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. This
process can produce feelings of euphoria and optimism, without the harmful effects of substance use. Additionally,
exercise can improve cognitive function, judgment, and learning.
Establishing a Healthy Routine
Registering for exercise classes and working with Royal Fitness to create a workout plan can help you establish a
daily routine that may curb cravings during your recovery period. Participating in a group class or telling friends and
family about your workout plans can help keep you accountable, which may make it easier to stick to your routine.
Scheduling your workout sessions for the same time every day helps structure your day. Strategic planning, such as
scheduling early morning or after-work sessions, can reduce the temptation to stay up late to drink or stop by a bar
for happy hour on the way home.
Understanding the Most Beneficial Kinds of Exercise
The best kind of exercise is usually whichever one you will keep doing. If you aren't sure which activities you might
like, experiment with a few different kinds. Riding a bike can be a good way to enjoy the outdoors while also getting
a low-impact cardio workout. Cycling is a particularly good choice for people who have issues with their joints.
Other types of exercise to consider include running, walking, swimming, hiking, CrossFit, yoga, and team sports. In
addition to providing a good workout, participating in a team sport can be a good way to build a social network.
Establishing and maintaining a social support system can help you stay on track with both your fitness goals and
Using Technology to Improve Your Workouts
Wearable technology, such as fitness trackers and smartwatches, has made it easier than ever to track your workouts
and fitness metrics. Popular models track stats such as steps taken, heart rate, calories burned, and food eaten.
Smartwatches can also perform other functions, and most wearables can be synced to your smartphone. There are
many different models available to fit almost any budget. Customize your device to fit your style with a new
watchband and protect it from accidental scratches with a screen protector.
Establishing a regular exercise routine can assist with your recovery by improving your physical and mental health.
If you need help establishing your fitness routine, talk to your doctor and your recovery