When you think of recovery, exercise probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. You might think of detoxification, therapy (both individual and group), building a support network and more – all of these add incredible value and are quite necessary for your journey to recovery to unfold. However, exercise is a crucial component as well – recovery is supposed to be an all-encompassing journey, meaning that it promotes your mind, body, and spirit. Alcohol use disorder (AUD) can significantly dampen the body’s ability to function effectively; exercise is meant to strengthen the body so that it can properly heal.
A 2016 study published in the journal Biomedical Reports sought to analyze studies conducted between the years 1970 and 2015 to determine if exercise has benefitted those with AUD in the past. Eleven studies total were analyzed, indicated that exercise can lower overall alcohol consumption and affect endogenous opioids, which have been said to affect the urge to drink. Another study published in 2017 examined the motivational aspects of exercise interventions and their affects on individuals with AUD; researchers found that participation, social integration, and achievement are central to helping those with AUD engage in exercise for their recovery. Exercise provides many benefits, including:
- It can make you feel happier by producing positive feelings and reducing your perceptions of pain.
- It can increase your metabolic rate, meaning that you will be more likely to lose weight in a healthy manner.
- Exercise promotes the ability for your muscles to absorb amino acids, meaning they are more likely to grow – which can help prevent issues such as osteoporosis later on.
- It can increase your energy levels, giving you more energy to do things that make you happy.
- Exercise promotes your cardiovascular fitness and body composition while decreasing blood pressure and blood fat levels – meaning your body is more prepped to fight off diseases.
Recovery is meant to address an individual’s mind, body, and spirit – nutrition management and exercise take care of the body by ensuring that it has the proper nutrients and movement needed for optimal functioning.
If you haven’t already, speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center to learn more about programs. It’s never too late to begin your journey to recovery.
Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery center. We offer dual diagnosis treatment, so if you are experiencing both substance abuse and symptoms of a mental disorder, call us today at 888-743-0490 so that we can work with you to restore your happiness, health, and well-being. You do not have to continue living this way; there are many people here ready to help you.