Did you know that 16 million people around the world have an opioid disorder?
It’s not just prescription medication that people are addicted to either. There are around 500,000 Americans who are currently addicted to heroin, which is one of the most dangerous drugs you can find.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. There are a lot of people in addiction recovery too, working to put their substance abuse behind them. One of the ways people can beat addiction is through fitness.
Take a look at our guide to how a fitness ‘addiction’ can help addicts recover.
Exercise and Addiction
Exercise for addiction recovery isn’t a new concept. It’s been used for decades to help sufferers take their lives back. If you know someone with a substance abuse disorder or opioid addiction symptoms, here are just a few ways exercise can help them recover.
Adding Structure to Day-to-Day Life
Creating a structure for everyday life is important. When boredom hits or you have too much free time, those cravings can become much more obvious. Exercise is a great way to create structure in your life and create a grounding routine.
It’s a Commitment
Exercise is a great commitment to take your concentration away from substance abuse. Previously, thinking about, acquiring, and using the drug would’ve been the biggest commitment, and exercise fills in that gap.
It gives you something to hold onto as well. Even when there’s no other reason to not use, knowing you have to get up for a run tomorrow or you have a yoga class is a commitment to stop you.
Coming off of a drug you’ve become dependent on is stressful, but exercise can help. By doing any aerobic exercise for just 5 minutes, you can reduce anxiety and help calm your mind, making the tough moments a lot easier to cope with.
In the early days of recovery, sleep can be a big issue. Recovering addicts may find themselves tossing and turning and waking up throughout the night, making the days harder to cope with. Although, exercise has been shown time and time again to help people get to sleep and stay asleep, letting you get the rest you need.
Improve Your Mood
Most addiction sufferers also struggle with mental health. Aerobic exercise can have amazing benefits of the brain and how you feel, helping fight depression, improve self-esteem, and level out your mood. This mental clarity is exactly what people need on the road to recovery.
Developing a Fitness ‘Addiction’
Exercise and recovery go hand-in-hand, and by creating a healthy workout routine of individual exercise or classes, you could be in a much better position to fight your addiction. If you’re wondering what activities help deal with addiction, stick to aerobic exercise. This is anything that gets your heart pumping, like jogging, cycling, and swimming.
If you think you’ll struggle with sticking to your plan, working out in a class that you’ve paid for up-front or with a friend can help your commitment.
Get Help With Recovery
No one can recover from substance abuse alone. Whilst a fitness addiction is a great way to help you get over drug addiction, more needs to be done. If you or someone you know is battling an addiction, make sure you seek professional help and reach out to those around you.
For more tips on how to live a healthy and happy life, be sure to check out other articles on the website.