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The Benefits of Fitness in Addiction Recovery

A young woman relaxes after a workout outdoors.

Even though addiction is a disease of the mind, drug use takes a toll on your physical health, as well. As you research treatment options, you’ll find that many addiction recovery programs incorporate some level of focus on physical fitness. The benefits of exercise in addiction recovery include healing both the body and the mind, relieving stress and much more.

The Physical Benefits of Fitness and Wellness in Addiction Treatment

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration define eight dimensions of wellness. A well-balanced approach to maintaining wellness in all areas can make your recovery journey go much more smoothly. One of these dimensions is physical wellness.

We’re not saying in order to be healthy you need to become a gym rat and spend hours of every day at the gym. On the contrary, just a little bit of regular exercise can go a long way! For example, getting proper exercise can help protect you from cardiovascular disease because it helps improve heart function and blood flow.

Exercise also has positive effects on your immune system and brain function. You may find that you get sick less often because exercise strengthens your immune system. And studies have shown that exercise can even rebuild brain matter damaged through drug use.

Exercise is a Dopamine Delivery System

One of the reasons drugs and alcohol are so addictive is because they unnaturally flood your system with dopamine and endorphins. These feel-good chemicals are hard to resist, but they disrupt your body’s natural ability to regulate these hormones on its own. This is a big part of why addiction develops in the first place.

Luckily, there are healthier and more natural ways to trigger the release of these hormones to help you feel good. For example, exercise has been shown to raise your dopamine and endorphin levels, too! Even better, your body is able to self-regulate and recycle the natural release of these substances, so you won’t be left hungover or crashing like you feel when you drink or get high.

Other Benefits of Exercise in Addiction Recovery

The good feelings from exercise don’t stop there. When you go jogging, hit the weights, skate at the rink, take a swim, ride your bike or participate in any number of physical activities, you’ll find that you:

  • Relieve stress and reduce anxiety
  • Improve how you feel about yourself and the world around you
  • Clear your mind of distractions and negative thoughts
  • Develop structure and routine (which can keep recovery on track)
  • Enjoy the outdoors and meet new friends with similar interests
  • Sleep more soundly

Treatment for Addiction in Florida at Footprints Beachside Recovery

One of the benefits of getting help with addiction at Footprints Beachside Recovery is our beautiful surroundings that are conducive for exercise. Our customizable treatment programs incorporate a number of exercise and recreational therapy options in a serene, peaceful environment. Here, you’ll be able to focus on recovery without distractions as you heal your mind and body from the damage caused by addiction.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, we can help. Talk to one of our addiction experts right now and begin your journey towards recovery.

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