How Fitness Can Aid Addiction Recovery
Lifestyle - by Tilton FitnessDecember 17, 2019
he grip of addiction can be one that is difficult and intense from which to break away. At Tilton Fitness, we know that reality all too well.
Today it feels like sometimes, you can’t go a few weeks without hearing about someone in a circle of your friends, family, or co-workers that are struggling to get better- no matter where you live or what you do.
Fortunately, over the last forty or so years, many stigmas about addiction and disease are being shattered, and more and more help facilities are open to help in the recovery journey.
Of course, being open to seeking help and talking about your addiction is one of the first steps one can take in getting better, but many other things can aid in recovery too.
At Tilton Fitness, we genuinely believe that a path to wellness can sometimes lead through our seven NJ gym locations and guided by the hands of some of our fitness experts. Sure, exercise and addiction don’t exactly sound like they make sense together, but you would be surprised to learn precisely how can fitness and exercise aid in addiction recovery:
Exercise Can Take Up Time
When you are an addict, a massive amount of time goes towards riding the rails of your habit. From using to tracking down a fix, daily recovery, and everything in between, those hours now get freed up in recovery. Some users, who might have been putting in a workday’s amount of time into their habit might now feel lost without that set of rituals and steps they used to follow.
The one thing exercise can do is help fill some of those voids with things that aren’t in any way, shape, or form connected to your habit. Even signing up for a single group exercise class a week, doing some cardio at home, and all of the prep and clean up before and after each- can add up. It can amount to hours and hours where you are healthy and busy, and deduce the number of hours sitting, thinking, craving, and hurting from your disease.
Adding new, more beneficial goals and focuses, like diet and nutrition, can also aid in taking over some of the wasted hours spent on less-healthy activities.
Fitness Regimens Provide Structure
While occupying the mind and body with hours of exercise can help keep your mind and body busy, so can the act of structuring your week or month with a fitness regime and goals in mind. One thing we have heard from folks in recovery is that without their habit, they lose a sense of structure in their lives.
It’s almost like being fired from your job sporadically:
What time do you wake up anymore? When are you supposed to go to your ____ meetings? What about making time to food shop or see your friends?
Setting a structure for your days, as well as building in goals, can help you on your way back to health. Think about blocking out certain times on certain days for specific activities, like classes, meetings, or appointments. Try connecting them to specific goals as well.
Think about linking weeks of sobriety or meetings attended, and something silly like the number of sit-ups you can do, or miles you can run. The latter may seem like small potatoes, but giving yourself attainable goals can help get you back in a groove and build momentum.
Strengthen the Body and the Mind
As we have covered in so many of our fitness blogs before, the benefits of exercise can far exceed just that of the physical body but can majorly improve your emotional and mental well-being as well!
One of the many reasons so many folks struggle with addiction is depression and a subsequent need to numb themselves with their habit. While in recovery, one may fear falling back into those debilitating mindsets, but exercise can help there too! You can trade-in that old high for a “runners high” instead, by getting feel-good endorphins and hormones from breaking a sweat, or an authentic ego boost by surpassing a goal you set. Not only that, but research shows that exercise can help restore connective nerve tissue in the brain, potentially helping heal your grey matter from any damage caused by your habit. Also commonly linked to mental health issues is sleeplessness, which cycles can be put back into form with an exercise routine.
Other physical illnesses and health issues that can be traced back to substance abuse, such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular problems, and more, can all be helped and have risks lowered by regular exercise regimens as well.
The first step to a successful recovery is admitting you have a problem and seeking professional help. By coupling that assistance with physical exercise, that you can achieve here with the expert team of Tilton Fitness, you are only further setting yourself up for a positive journey.
For more information on how we believe our NJ gyms can help assist in your addiction recovery, please contact Tilton Fitness today by clicking here!