Physical Fitness Can Help in Early Recovery
Experts who advocate a holistic approach for recovery from alcohol addiction will usually recommend a three pronged therapeutic regimen: physical, mental, and spiritual. An important element of this will be exercise. This not only improves physical health but also mental well being. Indeed, exercise can mimic the effects of addictive substances and thus help to reduce cravings. It is little wonder than that many alcohol rehab programmes will contain some type of exercise component.
It is usual for those who first enter any rehabilitation programme to be in poor physical shape. There may have been decades of abuse and this will have left the individual at a low fitness level. Even individuals who have abused alcohol for only a relatively short period will likely still have a low tolerance for physical activity. Those who are responsible for designing an exercise regime for recovering addicts need to take all this into consideration. An effective alcohol rehab programme will be tailored to fit the exact needs of the individual.
Exercise Benefits for Alcohol Addiction
Benefits of exercise for those recovering from alcohol addiction are far-reaching. As well as those health improvements which are obtainable by anyone who exercises regularly, there will also be advantages that are of particular use to recovering addicts. Here are just some of the benefits that are to be enjoyed:
* Physical exercise has been shown to lead to an increase in certain chemicals in the brain that are related to cognitive functioning. Those who are in early recovery will usually complain of foggy thinking, and so this increase in chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine may improve the situation. This improved ability to think may lead to better decision making.
* Regular exercise can help people sleep better at night. Lack of sleep is a common complaint of those who are in the early months of sobriety.
* Depression is commonly associated with alcohol addiction. Exercise can help produce positive outlook. Those who exercise regularly will claim to feel great after a run or an hour in the gym.
* The fact that exercise helps to lift the mood of an individual may mean that it can lower the risk of relapse. Many addicts will return to their addiction if life in recovery feels unsatisfying and lacking joy.
* Moderate exercise may even help to boost the immune system thus protecting the individual from many types of illness.
* Exercise can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
The potential benefits of exercise for those who are in an addiction rehabilitation programme are impressive. They can improve the physical and mental well being of the individual and possibly reduce the risk of relapse.
Too Much Exercise is Dangerous
There is a dangerous idea that if a little of something is good then a lot will be better. This type of attitude can be harmful for those who are starting any type of exercise regime. Too much exercise will lead to injury, burnout, and possibly even long term health problems. Exercise addiction can be almost as destructive as alcohol addiction. Too much exercise can lead to depression and possibly even suicide. It is not uncommon for addicts to replace one addiction with another. If they do this with exercise, it could lead to a lot of problems.
Moderate Exercise is a Useful Component in Alcohol Rehab
Exercise has a proper role in early recovery, and it can be bring a lot of benefits. Anyone beginning an exercise programme should first consult a doctor. This is particularly important for those who are coming from long-term alcohol abuse. Any exercise regime will need to begin slowly so as not to push the individual beyond their limits.
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