Routine exercise can play an important role in helping a patient recover from addiction. The abuse of drugs can wreak havoc on the body both physically and psychologically. Many drug addicts lose weight as a result of side effects which reduce their hunger, while others become unhealthy due to a lack of sleep. A growing number of rehab treatment centers are offering various types of exercises to their patients, from yoga to strength training.
Why Exercise is Essential for Recovering Addicts
There are a number of ways in which exercise can benefit recovering drug addicts. It will strengthen their body and immune system, which means they will be less susceptible to becoming sick or developing more serious illnesses such as diabetes or heart disease. Research has consistently shown that regular exercise results in greater longevity and a continued ability to perform various physical tasks even as a person ages.
Routine exercise also makes it easier for people to control their weight, which means they have a reduced likelihood of becoming obese. In addition to the physical benefits of exercise, the psychological benefits are just as important. A recovering addict who exercises regularly will begin to notice that they look and feel better. This in turn will lead to greater self-confidence and awareness that will prevent them from resuming drug usage, and they will also develop the internal strength and discipline to turn down any drugs that are offered to them.
The Role of Stress in Drug Use and How Exercise Helps
There is strong evidence which suggests that high stress levels may contribute to an individual’s decision to begin using drugs. Some people resort to smoking cigarettes or consuming alcohol to deal with the many stressful problems that life brings, in an attempt to escape these issues. Others use drugs because they believe these substances can help them perform better during athletic or academic challenges, both of which can create stress and pressure. In all these cases the consumption of drugs will only make the problem worse.
A correlation has also been found between high stress levels and various physical and mental problems, but these problems are only exacerbated when an individual chooses to cope by becoming addicted to prescription or street drugs. Regular exercise is the key to solving/preventing both problems because exercise enables an individual to handle stress and pressure with greater ease, which means that they are much less likely to resort to using controlled substances.
Many people are reluctant to exercise because it requires time and effort, and they instead prefer quick solutions to their problems. Yet this is the very attitude that makes a person prone to becoming addicted to drugs, this idea that they can always find a quick solution to a problem. The truth is that many problems can only be solved with time and effort.
Exercising during rehab will help a patient become stronger both mentally and physically. This increased strength will come with the realization that the recovering addict can get through life’s inevitable challenges and problems without resorting to a controlled substance.