How Does Physical Fitness Benefit You in Recovery?

How Does Physical Fitness Benefit You in Recovery?

Are you in recovery from substances and are looking for an activity to do to supplement your treatment plan? If so, you definitely want to find something that is beneficial to your physical and mental health. You’ll also want to choose an activity or hobby that is research-based and proven to improve symptoms during the recovery process. 

Look no further than your living room, gym, or right outside your front door.

The thing you are looking for is physical fitness! 

There are so many obvious benefits to exercise, and then there are some that are not as well-known. Exercise has physiological, psychological, and social benefits that outweigh most other activities. What else can boost your mood with a rush of serotonin, increase blood flow to give you lovely, radiant skin, jumpstart your energy level, decrease anxiety, help you think more clearly, encourage you to have fun, help you cope, and play a role in helping you sleep later on–all in a 30 minute trot around the block? 

Nothing. Except physical fitness! 

But how will physical fitness benefit recovery? 

Physical fitness benefit for recovery can help by:

  • Reducing anxiety
  • Lowering risk of depressive relapse
  • Increasing emotion regulation
  • Adding a healthy substitute behavior
  • Decreasing urges to drink alcohol
  • Improving the body’s ability to detox
  • Lessening nicotine withdrawal and help with cravings
  • Increasing available coping strategies  

(Weinstock, Wadeson, & VanHeest, 2012)

Do you want to flush out all of the toxins from your body that have built up over the years of substance abuse?

Physical fitness is another way to achieve this.

Even after one long night out on the town, people often wake up the next morning hungover and feeling literally toxic. If you are beginning treatment from a substance abuse issue, then you know good and well what having toxins surging throughout your body feels like. It’s not pleasant and physically detoxing from long-term use of a substance can be painful and often feel unbareable. 

By engaging in physical fitness you can speed up the rate in which you detox. This isn’t necessarily because toxins come out through your pores…because they don’t. Toxins are typically taken care of by the liver, kidneys, and intestines. But when substances are overused, these organs can be overwhelmed by their toxic environment.

According to holistic well-being experts at The Life Co

  • With exercise blood flow increases incrementally and nutrition and oxygen from the blood are enriched. As the cells are filled with this enriched blood our body is able to eliminate toxic waste faster and these extra nutrients are used in fixing the structural and chemical damage in the cells.  
  • Exercise increases blood flow promoting better circulation pumping white blood cells through the body in turn helping organs cleanse themselves effectively. 

Do these things sound great? Where should you start?

Continuum Recovery Center of Colorado has licensed therapists that will help you safely incorporate physical fitness into your treatment plan. Their Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) allows for one-on-one attention throughout the week and is not as restrictive as a Day Program. During IOP, you will learn how physical fitness can help you be more successful in your recovery, utilize new coping skills, including stress-management and emotion regulation skills, and simply have more fun while getting healthy! Contact Continuum now to speak with someone about the different program options and how we can serve you best while you begin the greatest journey of your life–recovery.