Today, 20.8 million Americans are suffering from substance use disorders. Addiction takes a heavy toll on individuals, families, and society, but getting through recovery can be the toughest task of all. You can make your recovery easier by developing a healthy routine focused on physical fitness and mental health.
Maintain a Healthy Routine
A routine provides structure, organization, and order to your life. This is important when you’re going through a rocky recovery that feels chaotic and unpredictable. Coming back to the same activities day after day will give you a sense of familiarity and help you replace unhealthy habits with positive ones.
To stick to your routine, start by doing at least one healthy activity every day. For example, you could go for a walk every morning or cook a healthy meal each night for dinner. Then, add other positive activities to your schedule as you discover what you like. Eventually, this routine will become automatic and require less willpower to tackle.
Exercise to Reduce Withdrawal Symptoms
Many studies have found that exercise improves the efficacy of drug addiction treatment. First, exercise acts as a distraction from negative thoughts and cravings. Participating in a regular fitness routine will eat up your free time and keep you from experiencing boredom, which is a common reason why people start using again.
On top of this, exercise causes your body to release endorphins which reduce pain and produce feelings of euphoria. Exercise also triggers the release of dopamine and serotonin, chemicals that relieve stress and anxiety, in your brain. Plus, exercise helps combat the sleep disruptions that many people experience during recovery. Esha yoga offers a number of healing classes that can assist addicts through calming meditation and soul aligning postures.
Boost Your Brain’s Healing with a Fitness Routine
Exercise also helps prevent disease and supports your body’s ability to heal itself. For example, exercise reduces your risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes. It also boosts your immune system. Research published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information shows that exercise can even stimulate the growth of new nerves in areas of the brain that handle cognition. This suggests that exercise could help improve cognitive functions, like memory and learning, in people recovering from the damaging effects of substance abuse.
Find the Right Exercise for Your Needs
There are many different exercises that will facilitate addiction recovery. However, the most important thing is to get your body moving one way or another. Some recommended exercises for mental health include walking, swimming, yoga, cycling, and high-intensity workouts. Light exercise may be the best place to start if you can’t yet work up the motivation for higher-intensity activities. Just walking outside is enough to improve cognitive alertness and improve your mood. Many people enjoy yoga for its balance of gentle movement and therapeutic relaxation. Others may prefer to use exercise as an outlet for anger. In this case, weight training, high-intensity cardio workouts, and martial arts are good options.
Practice Other Methods to Improve Your Mental Health
Since addiction negatively affects your mind, successful recovery involves making improvements to your mental health. Read about all the ways you can support your mental health in this article by HuffPost. Some key tips involve:
- Practising gratitude on a regular basis.
- Meditating to relax your mind.
- Spending time with friends and family in your support system.
- Educating yourself about the mental health issues you’re experiencing.
- Eating a balanced diet of whole, unprocessed foods.
- Getting enough quality sleep each night.
- Prioritizing your well-being by saying “no” to overwhelming tasks and events.
Rehabholistics also recommends spending time outdoors and indulging in a stress-relieving massage as ways to boost recovery efforts.
As you progress through your recovery, it will become easier to keep up a healthy routine. Start small by exercising on a daily basis. Then, add other healthy habits like meditation or healthy eating. Each step you take toward a healthier lifestyle will encourage you to keep making improvements until you feel great every day!