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Fitness for Addiction Treatment: Can It Help Recovery?

rehab clients participating in fitness for addiction

Successful recovery from substance use does not conclude at detox. To provide a lasting foundation for wellness, treatment must also establish healthier choices that contribute to the overall quality of clients’ lives. One proven method to achieve these ends is incorporating physical fitness education into treatment programs, which helps raise self-esteem, confidence, and motivation, allowing participants to move on to better, more satisfying lives. 

When seeking a program offering fitness for addiction recovery in Ohio, Midwest Center at Youngstown can provide the training you need. Contact our team at 844.544.0502 to learn more about our holistic approach to treatment and how it can help you achieve a higher level of health and happiness than you might have believed possible.

What is the Role of Physical Fitness in Addiction Recovery? 

There are numerous evidence-based benefits of physical fitness for addiction treatment. For example, exercise is critical for ongoing stress management and can counter the symptoms of many chronic health conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes. Individuals who exercise regularly also enjoy many other positive benefits, including: 

  • Better and deeper sleep
  • Increased overall energy 
  • Heightened immune response
  • Natural pain management, particularly in joints and ligaments 
  • Improved circulation 
  • Establishment and easier maintenance of a healthy weight
  • Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Improved blood sugar regulation 
  • Higher and more sustained energy throughout the day
  • Helping to modulate adrenaline, or the body’s “fight or flight” response, naturally curbing physical symptoms of anxiety

Although treatment aims to avoid relapse, there is some evidence to support that clients with a robust physical constitution–including a solid fitness foundation–are more likely to recover fully if they inadvertently drink or use drugs and are less likely to enter cycles of chronic relapse. Exercise also naturally curbs cravings for many drugs, such as opioids or cannabis, reducing the need for clients to expend excessive willpower while living in sobriety.

Mental and Psychological Benefits of Exercise

In addition, exercise can promote superior mental and emotional health. In fact, elevated endorphins can evoke a sensation similar to the sense of euphoria falsely obtained with the use of drugs or alcohol. These benefits can also extend to improved cognitive function, coordination, and other neurological factors that may have been compromised due to substance use.

Some exercises such as yoga also promote overall self-awareness and the ability to better pinpoint feelings as they emerge. This may allow some individuals the opportunity to engage in appropriate self-care such as deep breathing, meditation, or social connection prior to feeling the temptation to drink or use drugs to manage their emotions. Exercise also allows for an excellent opportunity to pass the time alone or with others, helping to fill the void some may experience while adapting to sober living.  

In addition to reducing or eliminating symptoms of depression and anxiety, A number of documented studies suggest that these feelings of heightened mood can greatly reduce the overall instance of relapse. These individuals also enjoy a much higher self-image and acquire the confidence required to take proactive steps towards other long-term ambitions. 

Finally, regular exercisers find alternate means for establishing practical goals, such as walking a certain number of miles or performing an advanced arm balance. These allow individuals in recovery to develop new feelings of self-esteem and self-actualization instead of feeling deprived, ultimately yielding greater satisfaction. 

Fitness for Addiction Recovery at Midwest Center at Youngstown

Recovery is not a temporary phase; it is a lifestyle, one that must be adopted during treatment in order to promote greater overall satisfaction in your life. At Midwest Center at Youngstown, we offer a number of different sustainable physical fitness options, such as the use of cardio equipment, yoga classes, and weight training to help your commitment to self-care remain part of a permanent routine. Call us today at 844.544.0502 to learn how our team can help you establish habits that have you looking and feeling your best for a lifetime.