Integrating Exercise in Addiction Recovery

Everyone knows that exercise is good for one’s overall health, but did you know it can benefit your addiction recovery? The physical activities you took part in while in treatment were not without reason. Exercise is one of the best ways to heal your body and mind from the harmful effects of addiction. It can also help you maintain sobriety for the long term, aiding in stress relief, relapse prevention, and more. 

However, while you may know the benefits of exercise and how it can help your overall recovery, it can be challenging to find a routine that works for you that you can stick with. Having some guidance on how to start and then stick with an exercise routine can boost your willingness to stay in recovery and continually improve your progress.

Stay True to Yourself

While there are hundreds of different exercises and programs you can take part in, it is essential to think about what you genuinely enjoy doing. Not everyone likes cardio, weight lifting, or other traditional exercise routines. Not liking standard exercise routines doesn’t mean that anything is wrong with you; it just means that you need to think outside the box to find something you will enjoy. It’s hard to form a habit when you don’t enjoy what you are doing. 

Physical activity should be about celebrating what your body can do and enjoying the movement. If you enjoy dance workouts, then look for classes or online programs that offer this type of exercise. If you enjoy yoga, then practice it at your leisure. You shouldn’t feel pressured to take part in any one specific exercise regime. Stay true to yourself and do what makes you feel good.

Start Small and Progress From There

You can’t expect yourself to run an entire marathon or lift 100 pounds on your first try. Having unrealistic expectations regarding your workout will set you back and typically make you resent the activity. You will be physically exhausted and give up before you even give yourself a genuine chance. 

Starting small doing something you love will allow you to build up your strength, stamina, and motivation over time. Even just going for a walk is a great way to get exercise in. From there, you can move into a brisk walk, then a jog, then a full-on run. As you get better, the accomplishments will help motivate you to keep going. Starting small and slowly progressing will enable you to keep up your sobriety by engaging in a healthy activity that you love.

Keep the Benefits in Mind

Finding the motivation to exercise can be challenging at times. However, many people feel this way when it comes to exercise. By keeping the benefits of physical movement in mind, you can push yourself to get back out there and keep going. 

Exercising has numerous benefits for your overall health and can also help you stay sober. This is because exercise causes your body to produce endorphins, chemicals that relieve pain and stress in the body. Therefore, if you feel overwhelmed in recovery, exercising can keep you on track and prevent relapse. It can also lift your mood if you feel down and fill your free time to keep you from experiencing boredom. All of these things will help you stay on the road to recovery and keep you from straying away.

Don’t Be Afraid to Try New Things

It is all too easy to find yourself bogged down into one exercise routine because it’s all you know. Limiting your options for exercise can significantly reduce your motivation as you grow tired of doing the same thing every day. Therefore, you shouldn’t be afraid to branch out and try new things. 

For example, if you only do cardio, consider strength training. If you’re always in the gym, consider getting outside and exercising there. If you typically work out solo, try out a team sport. Allowing yourself to grow tired of exercise will result in a one-way ticket to falling out of the habit. Try new things and discover new passions. 

Work Out With a Sober Buddy

Having another person by your side, especially someone that is also in recovery, can help you integrate exercise into your daily routine. This is because that other person can hold you accountable and vice-versa. You two can also discuss recovery and share ways you are managing it. It is never a bad idea to have another sober person by your side, so consider inviting your friend from treatment next time you hit the gym.

Exercising has numerous benefits for addiction recovery that cannot be overlooked. Even if you aren’t a fan of traditional exercise, it is vital to move your body at least once a day to improve your general health and boost your recovery. However, it can be challenging to integrate exercise into your daily routine if you aren’t sure where to begin. At NorthStar Transitions, we work diligently to teach our patients the importance of health and wellness in recovery. For this reason, we include a variety of experiential therapy and wellness activities, such as yoga, outdoor activities, guided meditation, and group activities. Over time, you will learn how to integrate these into your recovery routine even after leaving our facility. If you have already been to treatment and are struggling with daily exercise, let our staff help you get on track. Call NorthStar Transitions today at (303) 558-6400 to get started.

Search Blog Posts
Back to blog
Call 866-407-2240
Verify Insurance