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6 Reasons Exercise is Beneficial in Recovery

Exercise in addiction recovery has been proven to be beneficial for a myriad of reasons. This article will present 6 reasons why.

  1. Improved Focus

Exercise improves your brain in the short term by raising your focus for two to three hours afterwards. If you work out a couple times daily, your focus can be improved for the entire day! Losing focus is easy when you aren’t stimulated. It is important to have a high potential to focus when living the sober life, as too many distractions can often lead you off of your track. Focus helps you to keep your eye on your end goal, and to get there without meandering.

  1. Routine

Once you get into a routine of exercising, whatever that might mean to you, it will be difficult to break it. Routines are good for overall health, and instigate a healthier lifestyle in general. Routines very rarely involve negative things, because typically people set routines to positively impact their lives. Therefore, it is much more difficult to engage in bad habits when you’re so set into a good routine. “Sorry, if I drink tonight i won’t be able to get up early for my pilates class.”

  1. Great Distraction

Anyone who has had an addiction before, of any kind, has been told to find something else to do when you have a craving. Whether that be to take a walk, do something nice for someone, chew gum, or fiddle with something to stay distracted, I believe working out is the best way to stay busy. Not only will this get your mind off of smoking, but it will literally force you to redirect your focus. If you can learn to enjoy working out, or find something quick to do to keep yourself away from old habits, then you will quickly feel fulfilled and begin to see your habits improve. 

  1. Happiness

Exercise improves mood and sleep, and reduces stress and anxiety. Exercise and happiness are also independently associated with a boost to the immune system, and also with the release of endorphins. FOr those of you who don’t necessarily identify as an athletic person, it should help to know that even the smallest amount of exercise can trigger a positive mood change. Whether that means just walking, doing yoga, or you’re the type to run several miles or lift heavy weights: get moving! Withdrawals can be a major instigator for anxiety or depression, but exercise is the ultimate fix-all. 

  1. Increased Self Esteem

Obviously, looking better makes you feel better about yourself. But even before you begin to see results, exercise is proven to improve self esteem. Creating a plan and sticking to it permits for a sense of achievement and therefore a boost in esteem. Confidence is rooted in accomplishment, growth, and positivity. There is absolutely no better way to achieve these things than working out and working toward fitness goals. Fitness physically improves your mood and physique. Meditation and yoga are other great ways to help boost esteem. They can also regulate your emotions, leading to more effective social interactions and a positive self-image.

  1. Fun Outlet

Working out can be so fun. It is one thing with a million different options. You can exercise indoors or outdoors, and you can do anything from dancing to boxing to hiking. Here in San Diego, there have been all sorts of classes and clubs popping up around the city! There is yoga on the beach every day at Law St. and several gym opening primarily around exciting new classes. Most of the gyms opening up are either scenic or fun. Everyone wants to be unique and make money, so take the opportunity to check out some of the cool new attractions. If you feel comfortable stepping outside of the norm, there are aerial classes, and pole dancing classes that will definitely keep you engaged.  Sometimes it can be difficult to get yourself to exercise, but it is good to find something you enjoy doing, and then have a ton fun every time you decide to work out.

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