When alcohol or drugs are abused both the mind and body are impacted. Studies have shown that substance abuse can physically alter your brain chemistry while it attempts to maintain balance. Addiction can also weaken your immune system leaving you prone to illness and infections.
Another consequence of addiction is poor nutrition and lack of physical activity. After years of non-activity and poor eating habits, your body can develop high blood pressure, obesity, and even tooth decay. Maintaining your fitness and overall health while in rehab can not only help to overcome addiction but also help you to avoid these negative effects in the future.
The skilled team at Stout Street, a 28 Day Rehab in Denver, incorporates regular physical activities into our rehabilitation programs. Regular exercise strengthens the mind and aids in detox, which can be an integral part of rehabilitation.
Although some residents may not be able to begin their customized exercise program right away, some of the following exercises and activities can be.
Walking, jogging or running
This can be done within the facility or in an outdoor area. Even if you cannot run at the start, but performing walking and jogging intervals, which can eventually lead to running, you will be able to become mentally strong and push past barriers.
Weightlifting helps to increase metabolism, making detox faster. If there is no ability to lift weights, then bodyweight exercises can be great as well. This might include push-ups, sit-ups, air squats, tricep dips using a chair, pull-ups using a tree, or jumping jacks.
Yoga has many incredible benefits. These can include:
- Increased flexibility
- Increased muscle strength
- Visual muscle differences
- Better respiration
- More energy
- Balanced metabolism
Benefits of staying physically active
Being physically active not only helps to repair the psychological damage of substance abuse, but it can also help to restore the mind-body connection. Staying active during residential rehab has many purposes, including the following:
- Provides structure to your day
- Gives you a general positive feeling
- Reduces boredom
- Improves mood
- Increases endorphins
- Heals your body and soul
- Naturally alters your brain chemistry in a positive way
- Increases energy levels
- Eliminates insomnia
- Relieves stress
- Helps to prevent relapse!
How to reintroduce exercise into your daily life
Take it slow
Each action you make requires your muscles, nerves and brain to work together. This is not going to happen immediately after dealing with drug or alcohol abuse, so give yourself time for this communication to build up again.
Although it is completely possible to do this, it might take some time. Never feel discouraged if it takes longer than you thought, and know that you will relearn eventually. Walking is a great introduction back into physical activity and so is swimming. Do not force yourself to do too much. Just stay moving!
Work your way into it
If you were a physically active person in the past you might feel like you should be able to jump back in quickly. Yes, you will have muscle memory, but while in recovery you leave yourself open to injury if you push too hard. Work your way into it and never force anything.
Include a lot of rest and recovery
Becoming active through your recovery is very important, but you also need to give your body a chance to heal. Take enough breaks so your body is never overworked, and you will see yourself have a better recovery process.
If you or someone you love is looking into rehab, and would like to learn more about how to stay active in conjunction with your rehab program, contact Stout Street, a 28 Day Rehab in Denver.