People often talk about “fighting” addiction, but you can’t win a fight without preparing your mind and body. You also need a team you can trust at your back.
In Balance Counseling, the top choice for counseling in Tucson, believes in a holistic approach to recovery that includes a commitment to an intensive program. We use physical fitness and exercise for recovery from addiction.
Overcoming addiction is also about transitioning to a new lifestyle that gives addiction less power and control. Exercise can enrich and reinforce that new lifestyle so patients can surmount obstacles on the path to recovery.
Here are just a few roles a regimen of physical exercise can play in an effective active recovery plan.
Addiction can lead people to sacrifice their basic biological needs. Altered sleep patterns is one consequence of addiction. People in recovery from addiction can suffer from insomnia that depletes their energy stores during the day. An intensive workout during the day tires out the body in a healthy way, preparing the body for restful sleep.
Drugs of abuse and other addictive substances and activities can take their toll on the heart, lungs, and blood vessels. The body of a person recovering from addiction bears the aftereffects of psychological and physical stress.
Physical activity gets the heart pumping, improves blood flow to vital organs, and increases energy levels. Using intense exercise for recovery helps patients build the stamina they need for the other elements of an intensive treatment program.
Even if you aren’t up for a tough workout, simply going to the gym regularly is a great way to break the patterns of addiction. Establishing a new routine in new surroundings opens your mind to new ways of thinking.
As addiction progresses, the brain associates certain places (bars, casinos, old hangouts) with cravings and highs. If you don’t usually go to the gym, it can be a healthy place to find a fresh start.
Many people with addictions turn to them to escape stress, only to find their troubles growing and multiplying. Exercise is a productive and sustainable way to reduce stress. During the recovery process, it offers a better way to cope and regroup when life seems overwhelming.
A healthy, well-balanced life offers many pathways to pleasure, satisfaction, and a sense of purpose. A person in the grip of addiction sees those other sources of pleasure fade as their addiction takes over. Physical exercise provides a sense of accomplishment, provides measurable goals, and gives you a natural sense of euphoria.
Do you struggle with addiction? In Balance Counseling has information and guidance for people in every stage of the recovery process. For help with addiction in Tucson, AZ, and advice on how to use exercise for recovery, call In Balance Counseling at 520-722-9631. For more information, read our tips on avoiding addiction relapse.
"I came to In Balance a year ago after failing four major inpatient treatment centers for alcohol and drug abuse going back to 1989. I was so sick that I barely remember coming. In Balance has given me my life back. I truly feel like I have been given a second chance at life."
"In Balance has given me a new respect for life. It’s a fun and safe place to be. I experienced many different forms of therapy to keep it interesting. Thank you everyone."
"For me, the diversity of the program was a big plus. The groups were very helpful and supportive. The experiential components were important to learn how to be active in recovery and sobriety."
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