The Advantages of Beginning an Exercise Program during Alcohol Rehab

The Advantages of Beginning an Exercise Program during Alcohol Rehab

Alcohol rehab centers that offer residential treatment options not only help clients begin the road to recovery, the centers also provide a foundation for a healthier lifestyle. Nutritious meals and snacks are served, and the treatment regimen may include nutritional supplements. During treatment at ARC, regular exercise is encouraged, even during the detoxification process that may occur during the first week. Exercise is beneficial for people in recovery for several reasons.

Decreasing Detox Symptoms

Research has found that exercising during the detoxification process can minimize acute alcohol withdrawal symptoms. The rehab center provides medication for this goal as well, and being physically active increases the positive results. It also helps prevent insomnia, which is a frequent issue for people who have been relying on alcohol to help them fall asleep.

Filling Spare Time

In some cases, participating in exercise can fill the time that previously was dedicated to drinking alcohol. The large amount of free time some people gain when they quit can be a problem for them. Someone who used to head to a pub after work every day now might go to a fitness center instead. Men and women who spent entire weekends drinking might take up a fitness hobby like bicycling or hiking.

Creating Structure

Men and women in the early recovery process tend to benefit a great deal from a structured schedule. It may be tempting to fill open space in the schedule with drinking. By crafting a weekly schedule with each hour dedicated to a specific action, there is little time available for alcohol use.

Preventing Relapse

Physical activity is scientifically recognized as a mood enhancer. When someone feels somewhat depressed or anxious, doing a favorite kind of exercise boosts the production of endorphins. These neurotransmitters have effects similar to morphine, although typically milder. Endorphins actually have pain-reducing effects and can create a sense of euphoria. That explains a reason for the term “runner’s high.”

Boredom, depression and anxiety all can make a person feel tempted to drink. Stressful situations also have a role. Exercise can be a significant strategy for preventing relapse.

Getting in Shape

Many people who are addicted to alcohol have become sedentary and have gained extra pounds too. At first, walking a mile, swimming laps or riding a bike for a few miles may seem insurmountable. Resistance exercises with free weights or machines at the gym increase lean muscle. It may feel frustrating at first to realize how little weight they can lift or push and how few repetitions they can manage. Doing as much as they feel comfortable with and gradually building their fitness level will be rewarding.

Concluding Thoughts

A study published in the journal Behavior Modification in 2010 reported that many individuals participating in substance abuse recovery express an interest in exercise programs. This is a positive sign and indicates that counselors do not need to put pressure on clients to get them moving. Understanding the advantages that physical activity provides for a person in recovery, staying motivated becomes easier. Beginning one’s activity regimen while staying at the rehab center is advantageous for establishing a new, healthy pattern early on.

Categories: Health

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