When a person gets addicted to an illegal substance, he or she constantly craves the substance at the expense of everything else in life. At times, people fighting substance abuse may even disregard their physical and mental health, exposing themselves to the harmful effects of addiction. When abusing drugs, such people do not focus on their actions or choices, which, in turn, leads to irreparable damage to their physical and mental health.
However, when a compulsive alcohol or drug user decides to lead a sober life, he or she faces innumerable challenges in combating the constant cravings for addictive substances and lead a normal life.
Studies show that indulging in healthy habits, such as regular exercise or eating a healthy diet, can pave the way for overall well being, such as improving blood circulation, strengthening the heart, maintaining weight, relieving stress and sharpening the mind.
For a person recovering from any sort of addiction, physical exercise can play a key role in uplifting the mood and maintaining overall health. Apart from helping in the release of endorphins, which the body craves during recovery, exercise repairs the psychological and physical damage of chemical dependency caused by alcohol or drug abuse.
Here are some benefits that a person can gain by exercising while recovering from an addiction:
- Keeping oneself busy: One of the major benefits of exercising on a regular basis is that it keeps the person busy and helps focus on the present. Exercising on a regular basis keeps stress and boredom at bay and helps avoid thoughts of using alcohol or drugs.
- Relieving stress: Stress and tension can result from several situations in life, such as work pressure, deteriorating health or substance abuse. Exercising can help the body get rid of stress and negative emotions. It is important to get moving and start physical exercise since avoiding it might increase the chances of the person opting for unhealthy ways to get rid of the stress and tension such as relapsing to drug and alcohol use.
- Enhancing natural levels of endorphins: When a person abuses alcohol, it releases endorphins, the neurotransmitters in the brain, that create euphoria. However, using it for a long period of time causes dependency and creates a chemical imbalance that interferes with the person's ability to feel pleasure, happiness and satisfaction.A better way to enable the release of these hormones is by exercising regularly. Regular physical activity assists in restoring the natural levels of endorphins in the body.
- Inculcating a better outlook: Exercising on a regular basis helps one develop a positive outlook toward life. It not only helps in boosting the person's self-confidence but also instills positivity.
- Healing body and mind: Engaging in physical activity protects a person, especially those recovering from an addiction to alcohol, against deadly diseases such as cancer, heart ailments, etc. When a person in recovery exercises every day, it increases the number of new nerve connections in the brain that helps heal better from the effects of substance use.
Seeking professional help
Alcoholism not only affects the physical and mental health of a person but also those related to that person. It is important to note that alcohol addiction is a disease that can be treated.