How to Use Exercise as a Tool During Addiction Recovery - Addiction Modesto
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How to Use Exercise as a Tool During Addiction Recovery

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If you are in treatment for an alcohol or drug addiction, exercise can be an amazing tool for your recovery. Working out can improve your mental health by providing you with an outlet for negative emotions, such as anger, stress, and anxiety. Also, having a new fitness routine can reduce cravings because it gives you a fresh focus for your attention and energy. If you are currently in treatment for an addiction, here are some tips from Addiction Modesto on integrating exercise into your recovery program.

Find Something You Love

When getting started on an exercise regime, experiment with different types of workouts until you find an activity you love. By doing something you enjoy, it is easier to be consistent and committed. For example, if you love boxing, you will be more likely to succeed with circuit training than a swimming class. Your goal is to find something that also challenges you, giving you room to both push and enjoy yourself.

Maintain Consistency

Once you have determined your optimal style of exercise, establish a regular routine. By working out consistently, your body can adapt, and in turn, grow stronger and more efficient.

Integrating your fitness routine into your daily schedule also makes you more likely to continue. Choose the time of day that feels most natural to you and develop a ritual around your workout that makes the process feel automatic. By doing this, you create a habit that you are more likely to maintain over the long run.

Break a Sweat

When you work out, aim to exercise moderately for 30 minutes or intensely for 15 minutes each day. Also, try to hit your target heart rate to increase cardiovascular benefits and encourage sweating. Studies show that sweating can help you expel unhealthy substances, including heavy metals, chemicals, and bacteria. This can be especially helpful when you are detoxing from substances.

Find Tools to Help

You may want to use a fitness tracker or a smartwatch to help you stay on target. There are choices in all price ranges, with higher-end models offering options for customization, including interchangeable watchbands and screen protectors. Most models can send you reminders to exercise as well as track and compile performance statistics so you can measure your progress over time. More importantly, they can monitor vital health statistics, such as your heart rate and oxygen saturation level, to ensure that you stay in a safe zone throughout your workout.

And good news! Smartwatches don’t have to just help you in the gym. ZenBusiness points out a number of ways those same devices that are going to help you get in shape can also help at work, from marketing to task management.

Keep Going After Treatment

You may think that you can stop exercising once you have your addiction under control, but this would be a mistake. The structure and commitment of a regular workout program can help you keep your focus on something constructive and increase your odds of maintaining sobriety. Additionally, exercise provides physical and mental health benefits that can enhance your well-being for the long term.

Your recovery gives you a unique opportunity to turn your life around, and establishing an exercise routine can play a vital role in this reversal. Exercise can mitigate the damage to your body and mind that occurred during your active addiction, and with consistency, the benefits of exercise can endure beyond the recovery process and set you up to live your healthiest and happiest life moving forward.

This article is brought to you by Addiction Modesto, where Lynn Telford-Sahl provides counseling services including for substance and alcohol abuse. Lynn Telford-Sahl is a Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor with a Masters in Psychology with a Holistic Specialization from John F. Kennedy University in Orinda, CA. She has worked in the field of addiction treatment for 30+ years!

Contact: 209 505-2675 or

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Lynn Telford-Sahl

Lynn Telford-Sahl is a Certified Drug and Alcohol Counselor with a Masters in Psychology with a Holistic Specialization from John F. Kennedy University in Orinda, CA. Feel free to use all or part of this blog as long as you list my name, website and contact information. Lynn is the author of Intentional JOY: How to Turn Stress, Fear & Addiction into Freedom.
209 505-2675
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