Physical fitness and exercise can help you in your recovery treatment program. Addictions not only affect your mental wellness, but they can be detrimental to your physical health as well. Many recovery programs focus on holistic, or whole-health, treatment approaches. Holistic approaches to recovery emphasize the importance of the mind-body connection, which can help to accelerate the process of recovery.
Physical fitness can also help you to build a routine as you structure exercise into your daily life. You may also benefit from finding fun activities and foster a sense of community with others who are interested in exercise practices.
The Mind-Body Connection
Your physical wellness can affect your mental well-being. For example, when you feel sick or ill, you may also feel depressed or depleted. The feelings you experience when you are ill or in pain have an effect on your emotions. The mind-body connection can be a two-way street. You can recover from illness more quickly when you are in a positive frame of mind. A positive mental attitude can have a healing effect on our bodies.
Conversely, a healthy body can foster a healthy mental attitude. When you physically feel good, you are more apt to adopt a positive frame of mind. Physical fitness can teach you to strengthen the connection between the mind and the body. Physical fitness and exercise releases endorphins or “feel good” chemicals in the brain.
When you exercise, these chemicals are released to help you complete your exercise goals. These endorphins and good feelings can carry over throughout the rest of your day, even hours after you exercise. Supplemented with proper nutrition, physical fitness can have a profound impact on your mental wellness. When you feel physically strong and mentally well, you will be more capable of handling the challenges of recovery treatment.
Building a Routine and Structure
Most exercise programs and fitness regimens follow a routine process. Often, these routines increase in intensity or difficulty as you build your strength and resilience. When you commit to an exercise program or set a fitness goal, you have the side benefit of teaching yourself how to stick to a routine.
As you grow in your fitness levels, you are able to feel, and perhaps even see, the results of sticking to a wellness routine. To stay on track, you need to schedule time in your day to engage in your activity. Building a fitness routine will help teach you how to prioritize your health and how to establish a structure in your daily life.
You may also learn how to set and accomplish realistic goals. For example, your fitness goal may be to run a 5k road race. In order to successfully accomplish this goal, you will need to understand how to set a goal with an achievable outcome.
You need to be patient with yourself and you will need to foster a positive mental attitude as you coach yourself to obtain your goals. You can then transfer the skills you learned from setting physical fitness goals to your recovery treatment program.
Setting goals in recovery has similar parameters for setting physical fitness goals. Both recovery and fitness can be integrated into your life in the long-term. Setting and achieving fitness goals can also help you to build your self-esteem and you can look back on your accomplishments with pride.
Finding a Community Through Exercise and Sports
To stick to a physical fitness routine throughout recovery, you may find fun and social activities to be beneficial. Exercise and sports can bring people together. Sports teams come together for a common purpose of winning a championship or being the best in the league.
People on sports teams also share a common passion for the sport that they are playing. If you join a sports team, you may find a sense of community and belonging that you might have been previously lacking. You may also meet new people who have a positive frame of mind, that you can surround yourself with during recovery.
You might also find a sense of community in other exercise activities as well. If you are interested in weight training, you might seek a fitness partner or a personal trainer to help you stay motivated. You might join a gym and feel a common bond with your fellow gym members.
You also might begin practicing yoga at a weekly class or joining a running club. If you join a hiking club, you might connect with others who are also passionate about nature and the outdoors. You may then feel a sense of connection and community with other people in your exercise program. Finding a sense of inclusion and community—in addition to increased mental wellness, self-esteem, and resilience—is another side-benefit to physical fitness and exercise.
Physical wellness is an important aspect of recovery. Many recovery treatment programs incorporate exercise, yoga, hiking, or gym memberships into their structures to foster the mind-body connection. Exercise can produce many side benefits, such as increased self-confidence, lower levels of anxiety and depression, stable routines, and opportunities to find friends. Camelback Recovery believes that holistic approaches to recovery treatment, including physical wellness, have an incredible impact on recovering from addictive behaviors. We encourage our participants to engage in physical activities and offer gym membership to those in our sober living home. Call us at (602) 466-9880 to get started on your recovery today!