Addiction is a curable health disorder. But about 60% of the addicts who complete a circle of recovery for substance use disorder start addiction again within 1 year. That is why researchers are finding new ways to cure this condition effectively and prevent relapse.
But the good news is that only exercise can be the most effective way to overcome this problem.
Benefits of Exercise
Researchers think regular physical exercise can prove as a healthy stand-in for substance addiction. And why this happens? This happens because both drug addiction and exercise work in the same part of the brain. Both of them activate the reward pathway of your brain and stimulate the release of pleasure chemicals like dopamine and serotonin.
Although we need more research on how physical activity affects the addiction, here are some ways in which physical activity might work for you:
Regular exercise can lessen stress, anxiety, and depression.
You can face strong cravings for drugs and other substances during recovery. Exercise is the thing that can keep your attention away from the cravings for addictive substances.
Replace your triggers
Trying new exercises can keep you involved in something interesting and increase your healthy social interactions. This might help you to stay away from the places, people, and events related to your previous addiction.
Help you think clearly
Regular physical activity can help one’s mind work better. When your thoughts are more stable and positive it will prevent the odds of relapse.
Improve your sleep
If you have substance use disorder (SUD), it is common to have insomnia while you try to avoid addictive substances. Regular physical activity might help you sleep better and get a full-time rest at night.
Boost your self-control and self-esteem
With exercise, you can feel better and manage stressful stuff around you.
Exercises That Can Help
Previous researches show that aerobic exercise and resistance training can help you in addiction recovery. But now, there are not enough confirmations to say that one kind of physical exercise is better than another. Future studies will help us more regarding the relationship between exercise and addiction recovery.
Aerobic exercises can help you build your cardio health. That includes:
- Light gardening
- Water aerobics
Strength training or resistance exercises work on your muscles. Examples include:
- Some kinds of yoga
- Heavy gardening, such as digging
- Squats or lunges
- Push-ups or sit-ups
Set up your exercise in early recovery
If you don’t know where to start, talk to your substance use counselor or doctor about how to start effectively. You can also seek help from the recovery groups in your area. They might have some better exercise techniques and programs for you to join.
How Much Should You Exercise?
Researchers don’t know what “dose” of exercise is the most helpful. Until you know more, you can make a target for the same amount of physical activity as everyone else. That’s at least one hundred and fifty (150) minutes of moderate or seventy-five (75) minutes of intense exercise per week. Also add strength training to your weekly routine, at least twice a week.