Did you know that building a fitness routine can actually improve your chances of achieving sobriety? Yes, we are serious! Exercise has actually proven to provide many benefits to not only your physical health journey but also your mental and emotional health as well. Here are some of the top benefits that exercise can give to your sobriety journey:
1. Builds Routine.
Exercising daily can help structure your day and build consistent routine to your daily, weekly, and monthly schedule. This is why it is encouraged to exercise at the same point every day. Not only does this build the habit of working out, but it also holds you accountable to routine. If you work-out every morning for example, your day will feel “off” if you miss a day or two. This is proof that you have built a habit that has established routine into your day and have now made a healthy habit. You can carry this structure into other habits as well such as eating schedule, completing important tasks, and meeting responsibilities. This can also hold you accountable to your sobriety. For example, if you have to get up early in the morning to workout, perhaps going out the night before will not be as desirable.
2. Takes Time.
Exercising every day is not only healthy in general, but it also takes up time. Sometimes, one of the hardest parts of the recovery process is finding things to take up our time. Too much time can lead to unnecessary thinking and feeling, and ultimately can cause relapses. When you choose to let go of your addiction, you will find yourself with a lot of extra time. You used to spend a lot of time thinking about, planning for, acquiring, and then using a substance of your choosing – now, all that time is free to use on other habits. Exercise is a great and healthy way to fill those voids.
3. Positive Vibes.
Exercise can actually improve your mood, which then impacts your overall mental and emotional well-being. No, we are not only speaking to those individuals who actually enjoy exercise and are intrinsically motivated to do so (because let’s be real, that is not the majority of us). Exercise can bring your mood up because when you work-out, your body actually releases a neurotransmitter that interact with the other chemicals in your brain to release a feeling of positivity and pleasure. These neurotransmitters are called endorphins, and they are a great way to learn to enjoy activities such as exercise.
4. Creates Growth.
Exercise also creates growth in many areas other than just physical. Emotionally, exercise can become a positive release and/or a way to cope with our stressors and triggers. Mentally, exercise can strengthen us in many ways including learning to goal set, build up intrinsic motivation, cultivate work ethic, and even build up self-esteem as goals and expectations are met and achieved.
We all know that exercise is not everybody’s favorite pastime; however, learning to find exercises that you enjoy can have such a majorly positive impact on your recovery journey. If you do choose to utilize exercise as a form of mental and emotional self-care, let us know on Facebook! Show us your favorite exercise tip or trick @BellEveTreatmentCenter!