One of the challenges in addiction recovery is getting your brain back into shape. It turned into a couch potato while you weren’t looking! Instead of munching on chips, it was busy gobbling up the neurotransmitter dopamine. The more your brain’s reward center got, the more it craved. Your brain neglected its relationships with other parts of your body, and now, they don’t communicate as well. It even developed bad posture and a host of other issues.
If you want to beef up your biceps, you can curl some dumbbells. Cardio keeps your heart cranking. But how in the world do you target your brain? The answer is closer than you think. In fact, we’ve already given you a couple of examples!
Exercise Helps Recovering Addicts
Physical activity and a healthy diet are two vital components in restoring your body and mind back to their former glory. Exercise provides a number of benefits that are especially helpful for those in addiction recovery. You’ll feel better about yourself. Exercise helps you shed stress, and it can aid in combating depression. It also gives your brain healthier alternatives to those “potato chips” with all natural endorphins.
Boost Your Self Esteem with Exercise
One key to success when starting any exercise program is setting realistic goals. Nobody runs a marathon the first time they lace up their shoes. You might start with a walk around the block today. Tomorrow, you can try to make the route faster or walk a little farther. Keep track of your progress and celebrate the milestones. That sense of fulfillment is your self esteem coming back. Nurture it by continuing to push for even greater achievements!
Stress Less with Exercise
The next time that stress rears its ugly head, put on your running shoes. We’re not advising avoidance! Focusing on intense physical activity can serve as a kind of meditation while also allowing you to blow off steam. Once you’ve cooled down, you may find it easier to deal with the problem at hand. Maintaining a regular exercise schedule can help that cooler head prevail more often so don’t put off that trip to the gym until trouble comes calling.
Combat Depression with Exercise
As mentioned above, exercise can put you into a meditative state—blocking out stress and other negative influences on your mood. Some studies have even shown that regular exercise is almost as effective as medication when treating depression. If running, weightlifting and other high-impact activities are a little too intense, you might try yoga. The slow, controlled movements can help improve your physical and mental balance in addition to your strength and flexibility.
Restoring Brain Chemistry with Exercise
In addiction, your brain is reliant on drugs or alcohol in order to experience happiness or pleasure. Exercise offers a healthier alternative by producing endorphins that naturally create the same state of satisfaction. Eventually, your body can relearn how to regulate the delicate balance your brain chemistry needs. Maintaining a regular exercise routine is also extremely beneficial for boosting your memory and concentration.
Your Addiction Recovery Plan Should Include Exercise
At Footprints Beachside Recovery, our goal is to restore you to a happier, healthier life. Our individualized treatment plan will go beyond the substance abuse to help you take better care of your body and mind. We work together with our clients for as long as they need in order to treat the underlying factors that contribute to addiction and relapse. If you’re ready to start the process of healing from addiction, our caring staff is here to help.