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Tips For Staying Sober Using Exercise

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Exercise with Weights

 

*Guest Post from Constance Ray of RecoveryWell: Constance Ray started Recoverywell.org with the goal of creating a safe place for people to share how addiction has affected them, whether they are combating it themselves or watching someone they care about work to overcome it.

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Tips For Staying Sober Using Exercise

Back when you were drunk or high most of the time, you knew it was time to get sober. But addiction isn’t so easy to beat, and it took a lot of time — and help from others — before you finally got sober. It’s something you should be proud of, but it’s also something you need to work at every day. Your addiction isn’t completely gone; you just have it under control.

But as you know, relapses and moments of weakness are always problems. That’s why you should start exercising more. As you can see below, there are many activities and exercises you can do to help stay sober — and to improve your fitness as well.

How Exercise Helps

Being addicted to drugs or alcohol can ruin your health, but sometimes, it’s poor health that leads to substance abuse. That’s why so many people become addicted to prescription drugs. By improving your physical health, you can make such addictions less attractive. Not only will exercise help alleviate the need for substances, you’ll also want to protect your newly fit body.

As Drugabuse.gov explains, exercise helps prevent substance abuse. Being active stimulates the brain’s natural mood-boosting chemicals like endorphins. These can often replace the need for drugs, delivering a natural high that substitutes well for the artificial one. Exercise also improves your ability to fight stress.

Exercise isn’t just about improving physical health. The Huffington Post reports that it offers many mental health benefits that can help you stay sober, such as:

  • Improved self-esteem as you like how you look better.
  • Prevention of cognitive decline and more production of chemicals that prevent degeneration of brain cells.
  • Reduction in stress and anxiety.
  • Improved memory and ability to unwind after a long day.

Specific Exercises To Try

Addiction recovery is a process, so you need help to stay sober. As you can see, exercise can really help with that. But what exercise exactly? Are they all basically the same? While just about any form of exercise can help, there are some that are better for fighting addiction.

Sparkpeople.com lists some holistic exercises for keeping healthy. These include:

  • Yoga for heart health and decreased inflammatory responses. You can do a formal yoga class or just incorporate a 20-minute routine of your own three times each week.
  • Pilates is similar to yoga but focuses more on building your core strength and posture.
  • Tai chi is almost a combination of meditation and stretching that improves your health.

However, there are more traditional exercises that boost your overall wellness and help keep you sober.

  • Swimming exercises a lot of muscles, spends plenty of calories, and can help decrease your stress.
  • Resistance training with weights or dumbbell builds muscle strength and helps burn fat. Plus, it’s a clear, visual improvement that can boost your confidence.
  • Sports like tennis, basketball, or running are great exercise and can give you that natural high to help fight your addiction.

Anger & Addiction Issues

Speaking of addiction, many people have issues with anger as they struggle with substance abuse and addiction recovery. If you’re sitting around all day letting your health suffer, there’s a real chance your anger can lead to serious problems.

Thankfully, you can use exercise for anger management when in sobriety. Because exercise reduces stress, increases dopamine, and boosts your confidence, it can also be very effective in keeping you calm and relaxed.

Exercise To Stay Sober

You worked hard and sacrificed to get into addiction recovery. Don’t let that go to waste. Instead, explore your exercise options to improve both your physical and mental health. With some yoga, resistance training, or sports, you can increase your odds of doing what you want — staying sober.

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