The Benefits of Exercise in Recovery

As your body is adjusting and realigning itself to a life without drugs and/or alcohol, it is undergoing a wide array of changes. These changes, while they are positive in the long run, may seem overwhelming and unbearable in the meantime. Following addiction treatment and entering into recovery, it is normal to experience increased feelings of stress, have difficulty sleeping, have reduced energy and experience an array of anxious moods and depression.

Addiction completely changes your body chemistry and once your body is free from these substances, you may be extra sensitive to life and its stressors. The good news is you can bring on the positivity with exercise. It has been shown that exercise in recovery has numerous benefits, including increased energy and improved mood. Whether you have recently completed addiction treatment or you have been in recovery for years, here are just a few of the benefits you can reap with exercise.

Stress Reduction

Unfortunately, stress, which is often one of the reasons for crossing the line into substance abuse, is also one of the effects of recovery. However, the relief from stress from using becomes more allusive and never really goes away, the good news is that during recovery it will fade and eventually go away. Stress is something many people deal with and fortunately, exercise in recovery is a great way to relieve stress. During exercise, there are chemicals that are released from the brain that work to combat stress, so developing a healthy routine of exercise in recovery will go a long way in helping recovering individuals return to a place of balance and calmness.

Sleep Better

Issues with getting a good night’s sleep are common, especially in early recovery. Regardless of the substance of choice, a stimulant or a depressant, stopping these substances can affect sleep. Difficulties falling asleep, staying asleep or wanting to nap in the middle of the day may result, leaving you feeling tired and sluggish. While non-habit forming products may help slightly; an even more natural and better remedy is exercise. Regular exercise is extremely beneficial in improving sleep, both the number of hours you sleep and the quality of sleep you get. Therefore, as your sleep improves, so will your wakefulness. Those who sleep more sound generally report feeling more alert and able to tackle the demands of everyday life.

Increased Energy

A common saying in many recover circles is “You have to give it away to keep it”-expending energy in the form of exercise isn’t any different. In other words, to get energy, you must give it. During exercise, the blood is pushed more aggressively to and through the heart, and your oxygen levels increase within your body. With regular exercise, the boost in your oxygen levels will significantly improve your overall energy. As your body becomes fitter, both physically and cardiovascular, the activities of daily living will become much easier to perform. You will notice that tasks are more efficiently completely and will require less energy. Incorporating an early routine of exercise in recovery can go a long way in helping those new to being clean and sober. It helps manage the demands of daily life.

 Improved Mood

Mood changes may frequently occur during the addiction treatment process. Even following detoxification, mood changes may fluctuate, especially during early recovery. It isn’t uncommon to feel on top of the world one minute and disheartened and lost the next minute. Your body is adjusting to life with the substance of choice and these changes in feels are absolutely normal. So, how can exercise help to improve the mood of those in recovery? Your mood is improved with the release of endorphins, which are a chemical that is released by your body during exercise. One commonality between substance abuse and exercise is that your body is seeking a way to produce certain feelings, such as euphoria. The good news is exercise produces endorphins that produce positive feelings, such as happiness and euphoria, but they are being released in a safe, beneficial way.

Reduces Cravings

Cravings are a mental and physical urge and compulsion to use drugs or alcohol. Cravings are a known hallmark of addiction, and they are typically the strongest during the first few months of being abstinent. Fortunately, cravings do decrease in intensity over time and the longer you are in recovery, the less you will experience cravings. Research has shown that exercise is a great way to reduce cravings as well as the substance abuse associated with the cravings. One of the theories as to why exercise is beneficial at reducing cravings is that routine exercise decreases the protein levels in the brain that are associated with drug cravings. Another theory is that the “feel good” endorphins that are released during exercise produce a similar effect to drinking or using drugs. Regardless of the reasons, exercise has been proven to be extremely beneficial in reducing cravings and the drug-induced behaviors they generally precede.

One of the best benefits of exercise during recovery is that it helps to boost your confidence. While exercising, you are doing something good for you…it doesn’t matter how fast you run, how many miles you walked or how many pounds you are able to bench. Instead, exercise provides you with a sense of self-confidence through the mere fact that you have overcome addiction treatment and now in recovery and that you have the desire to exercise regularly. So, basically, it’s not the quality of your performance, it’s what you are doing to improve your self-image.

When paving the pathway to your success for recovery, there are many beneficial activities that you can do. Exercise happens to be one. At Newport Beach Recovery Center, we can help you discover activities to help you succeed in recovery. Contact us today to speak to a professional about getting help.

7 Tips for Women in Early Recovery

Starting out on the road of recovery can be filled with challenges.  You’ve taken the most important step when you stopped drinking or using drugs but everything in your life is now new.  You may be seeking out new friends, starting a new job or developing a new daily routine.  All while working hard to prevent having a relapse.  Each one of these situations can produce stress.  Combined together, you have a recipe for anxious moments.  This puts women in early sobriety at greater risk for relapse.  It is estimated that 90 percent of those recovering from substance abuse have a relapse.  While your primary desire may be to stay sober, even the strongest people must develop skills to prevent relapses and deal with stress.  Professionals recommend that you change your social circle and the places you go to.  This makes sense when you consider that if you want to create a new path for yourself, you need to leave the old path behind.  To help you on your journey, we’ve compiled some tips based on scientific research.

Change Your World

When you are embarking on the journey to discover what recovery means to you, you are essentially creating a new world for yourself.  You’re creating new patterns and people in your life.  Developing new friendships and changing where you spend your time will play a large role in preventing relapse and smoothing your transition into a new way of life.  You may find yourself spending more time with your family by planning special outings or evenings together.  For others, developing a structured daily routine helps ease anxiety and helps to avoid situations that could let to a relapse.

Develop Solid Relationships

When you enter recovery, it may seem like a new world.  Having friends who understand the transition you are going through is important.  They can help when you are frightened or uncertain.  Having a friend to call on when you are angry or down will help keep you moving forward.  Participating in a support group surrounds yourself with people who understand the pitfalls that await individuals in early recovery.  In fact, people who have enjoyed recovery for many years will share that they still face challenges.  Anyone who is new in recovery can learn from their coping strategies and apply them in their own lives.

Start Moving

Periods, often years, of using can take a toll on your body.  Incorporating regular exercise into your daily regime will pay off by improving your health and your emotions.  Exercise is well documented to relieve stress and balance mood.    This supports your desire to constantly improve yourself while preventing triggers that lead to relapse.

Prioritize Self Care

Caring for ourselves is not a priority for women.  We are raised to nurture others but often don’t nurture ourselves.  Things like a luxurious bath or a long walk are generally not things we think about in a fast-paced world.  They are, however, exactly the things that will keep you sane as you move through recovery, process raw emotions and figure out your future.  Taking care of yourself can relieve stress and anxiety.  You can also use these moments to just ‘check in with yourself’ and see how you are doing.  Small quiet moments doing things that nurture yourself keeps you in touch with your emotions and makes you aware of any triggers lurking to take you off the right path.  Spend some time with self-care because no one else will.

Write it Out

While, at times, you may feel shame or guilt over your past actions, if you allow them to, those emotions will hinder your recovery.  One way to progress and work through the emotions that are crowding you is to search for ways to manage swirling thoughts.  Professionals recommend writing about your feelings.  Getting them on paper gets them out of your head and lets you process.

New Work

When you leave female addiction treatment, you’ve already begun recovery.  To maintain your new outlook, get a job.  Many people leaving treatment will either be unemployed or underemployed.  This is a good time to look for a new job.  Not only will you have a method of income, but you’ll also meet new people and discover new skills.  Take care of yourself, though, as stress related to a new job can trigger a relapse.

Make Honesty a Priority

As you journey along the path of recovery, prioritizing honesty with yourself and others helps everyone.  By sharing your story with others in your support group, you’re sharing the common struggles that you all have.

These are just a few ideas to keep you going in early recovery.  You’ll find some strategies work better than others to prevent triggers and keep you sane.  The important thing is to keep working at it.  You’re worth it!

Call us today to continue on the strong path of recovery. We pride ourselves in always being able to help.

How to Find the Best Drug Rehab for You

Alcoholism is a baffling disease that affects people from all walks of life. Even when someone is aware that they have a drinking problem, it can be virtually impossible for them to give up alcohol, unless they are committed to changing their lifestyle and have a strong support system. An addiction treatment center offers a residential setting, counseling sessions, and group meetings that will assist with the recovery phase.

Receive A Recommendation

A doctor or psychiatrist can assist a patient in locating a treatment center that offers a variety of services and individualized treatment plans. Some treatment centers are expensive to attend, but this does not necessarily mean that a client will receive the level of care that they need. An expensive center may offer luxury accommodations, but be understaffed or not require each resident to attend alcoholics anonymous meetings on a daily basis.

There are, however, some expensive treatment programs that have received rave reviews, but a less expensive center may also be highly recommended and could be a better fit for a person. An individual needs to decide the length of time that they are willing to commit to their recovery, the distance that they are able to travel, and the amount of money that can be invested in a treatment plan.

A caregiver will provide a list of the top drug rehabs that are located within the area that a patient has specified and may provide a brief overview of each establishment. The decision is ultimately left up to an individual, but it may be helpful to hear what a doctor thinks about each facility.

Contact A Few Rehabs & Do Your Research

It can be intimidating to contemplate how different things will be once in a treatment facility and a person who is struggling with an addiction may be worried that their personal needs won’t be met. The best drug treatment centers welcome newcomers to contact the director of a facility to ask questions or request some detailed information about the services that are offered.

For example, if an individual has been diagnosed with two or more conditions, they need to know if there are counselors available who can aid them with each part of the diagnosis. Sometimes, alcoholism becomes apparent after someone has dealt with depression or grief. Learning what triggers the urge to drink alcohol can assist with coping when cravings occur.

It can also be beneficial for someone to voice their fears during personal counseling sessions with a psychiatrist or counselor and this can help a client feel as if their problems aren’t as complex as they initially were. Intensive treatment often involves receiving help with withdrawal symptoms, attending individual and group counseling sessions, and attending daily meetings with other addicts.

Learn About What Each Program Offers Daily

A prospective client can acquire information about the daily schedule that they will be given when they enter a treatment facility. The top addiction treatment programs may offer family meetings and support sessions that will assist in resolving conflicts between relatives or strengthening relationships that were previously damaged because of alcohol abuse.

Residents may be required to clean their personal living space and assist with daily chores in common areas that are shared by the residents. Free time will also be available and these sessions can be used to read, write in a journal, or reflect upon the day’s activities.

When family members are included in a treatment plan, a patient may have a better chance of overcoming their addiction because they will have the support that they need and deserve. People who are part of an addict’s recovery plan will learn about addiction and what to expect as their loved one makes changes in their personal life.

Let Newport Beach Recovery Center Help You Find the Best Rehab for You

Newport Beach Recovery Center prides itself on helping anyone who contacts them, regardless of if you end up in our program or not. Our goal is to make sure all those seeking treatment and recovery find a path to the treatment that fits their individual needs. Call us today or contact us to learn more about how we can help you or a loved one overcome substance abuse for good.