Recent statistics on addiction is alarming. There is a dramatic increase in the number of people suffering from this psychological disorder. The more acute this problem gets, the more healthcare professionals work on various treatment approaches. There is a big number of means to cure addiction that is effective to a certain extent. But still, no matter what way of treatment is used, there is something that can add value to medical care. This addition can be sports. Combined with professional medical support, exercising is a viable strategy that can improve the results of holistic recovery programs (learn more here). Patients note that working out helps to distract them from cravings, make days more structured, and create positive social connections. All this makes it easier to stay sober.
Positive aspects of doing sports for addiction recovery.
- It’s well-known that working out helps to relieve stress. People abstaining from drug or alcohol intake naturally experience a high level of tension. Exercising helps to alleviate physical and psychological discomfort as well as get rid of distressing emotions. Releasing stress is much healthier by playing sports than taking another dose of the substance. Physical activity is an effective and healthy way of escaping energy and thus releasing tension in the body. It really helps to become more relaxed, which is so crucial for fighting addiction.
- They say doing sports is a kind of meditation in motion. While exercising, you concentrate on physical feelings, which helps become more sensitive to the signals of your body. This concentration helps to observe not only physical sensations but psychological processes as well. It makes you able to notice what emotions you experience at a certain point of time, what caused them, and what the triggers of your cravings are. Physical movements help to refocus your mindset on well-being and get rid of troublesome thoughts. Being attentive to your feelings and thoughts reduces the risk of taking substances on auto-pilot as it typically happens. So this ‘active meditation’ has its psychological and physical benefits.
- Numerous studies point out that physical activity can alter brain chemistry. Sports exercise release endorphins that make us feel more happiness and serenity. Endorphins give the feeling of natural high that is so often experienced by sportsmen as substance abuse has caused an imbalance of neurotransmitters that interferes with feeling a sense of pleasure and satisfaction. This imbalance can be fixed with the help of exercises that significantly increase the natural level of neurotransmitters responsible for a good mood. In addition, over some time, the brain gets capable of keeping neurotransmitters balanced naturally, so mood gets regulated in a healthy way. It’s important to note, that sports can literally change your brain only if you exercise regularly, so you shouldn’t skip workout sessions to reach the desired result.
- Therapists at holistic drug rehabs state that doing sports regularly improves patients’ outlook. Probably everyone noticed at least once, that doing physical activity helps to boost self-confidence. As you see the progress you’ve made, you feel more powerful to cope with different challenges in various life spheres. As feelings of accomplishment arise in your sports experience, it may be spread to addiction recovery. By achieving sports goals, you may gain faith that you can reach great recovery results. Those who work out regularly tend to feel more self-worth as they see their success. Doing sports makes a goal of sobriety attainable.
- Creating positive social connections is key to a successful recovery. Addicted people are extremely influenced by their destructive environment. That’s why one of the main goals in holistic drug rehabilitation is to create a new social network of sober people who share the same interests and values. Interaction with people interested in sports can be a great support in times of abstinence struggles and strong drug cravings. There are many nonprofit organizations that promote sports for people in recovery. One of them is the Boston Bulldogs Running Club, founded in 2008. Nowadays, one of its missions is to provide people suffering from addiction to support. Another organization is Phoenix that aims to create a healthy community if active and sober people through various peer-led events, such as CrossFit, boxing, running, and yoga. Anyone with at least 48 hours of sobriety can take part in their events. Quite inspiring, isn’t it?
- After taking substances for a long time, not only psychological well-being is diminished, but body systems are considerably damaged as well. Alongside with medical treatment, working out can help to reduce the harm caused to the physical body. Together with the activation of different organs, stabilization of blood pressure and heart rate, it also helps to detoxify the body. Detoxification is an integral part of the treatment process that helps to increase the effectiveness of remedies. So sports is a value adding to the recovery process that must be used at holistic detox centers as it is beneficial for general health.
Taking into account all the mentioned above, work out is a valuable part of recovery. As a type of active meditation, it helps to free mind, find clarity within chaos, change spirits, and become more self. Physical activity helps to get high without drugs as it modifies brain chemistry and releases hormones needed to feel more rejuvenated.
Exercising is a great way to relieve stress and release tension that accompanies addiction and trigger substance cravings. It really helps to get distracted from negative thoughts and worries. At the early stages of the recovery process, people need something to occupy the mind with and to spend time on.
Playing sports can not only make you busy with enjoyable activities but also build new relationships with people who share the same goals. Sports can be a great way to enjoy yourself as well as to form new friendships.
Positive social interactions with interesting people is a great tool to stay sober. Moreover, doing sports will help to repair damage caused by toxic substances to your body, which is important for a successful recovery. Also, there are no rules regarding exercises so that they can be in any form. So why not to choose the one that suits you best and enjoy it as a part of holistic drug addiction treatment?