Physical exercise is an important component for a person’s overall health, particularly following addiction. Regular exertion of the body also provides benefits to the mind and soul which helps prevent relapse and supports long term sobriety maintenance. A personal trainer can help boost confidence in body, mind and soul in recovery.
Building a Routine
Accountability is a big piece of the recovery puzzle. When an individual commits to recovery, the individual is making a statement to loved ones, community and the wider world sobriety is of utmost importance. When the time is right, it may be worthwhile to invest in a recovery program which focuses on rebuilding the body through a fitness program. Typically it is not recommended to start any heavy or strenuous exercise until a few months after treatment ends and never without first consulting with a doctor. The routine of accountability in showing up to meet someone once or more a week to work out can really build positive social skills, confidence and a sense of forward momentum in progressing towards personal goals.
Filling the Void
Regular exercise can help fill a void addiction used to take up until it ended. Individuals in early recovery may find regular exercise takes stress out of the process of sobriety and helps people embrace sobriety more fully in later stages. Neurologically, an individual can replace the need for drugs, alcohol or other substance with a healthier alternative endorphin release: exercise. The ability to do something within one’s own control can feel very empowering even after addiction seems to have stripped everything away. Exercise can fill a positive void in a person’s life as long as it does not replace the addiction. Other benefits include:
- New neural pathways
- Decreased cravings
- Reduced withdrawal symptoms
- Depression and anxiety symptoms lowered
- Positive engagement and interaction with self and others
Lifestyle changes are important in recovery to promote healthy self-esteem and a sense of belonging to the new world of sober people. Physical activity may feel like a healthy replacement for addiction focused activities and provide a positive pleasurable experience. Personal trainers and programs are available to support people in developing goals to get healthy in recovery. Treatment programs may also include personal fitness programs or training as part of the regimen depending on the type of program. This may include:
- Fitness, nutrition and wellness assessments
- Group fitness classes (more affordable and focused on a group environment)
- Hour-long personal training session with a certified personal trainer
- Education on nutrition and fitness in addiction recovery
- Training on mobile applications for tracking calories, workouts, etc
The possibilities are endless when pursuing physical fitness as part of a recovery program. The key is to find an individual who provides training from personal experience as an individual in recovery. This perspective will be helpful in guiding the training program and supporting a person through challenges of building personal fitness after addiction.
The Villa provides information and resources to support individuals in recovery from addiction. Health, fitness and wellness are part of a well-rounded program. If you are looking for information on how to get healthy after addiction, call us.