One of the toughest aspects of rehab and recovery is the sense of losing your identity which most people experience. This happens because drugs or alcohol have become your identity over time. When these things are eliminated from life, the individual can start to feel lonely, depressed, and hopeless.
One of the best ways to combat this is by building a new identity based on healthy habits and ideals. Many people in recovery find that exercise and a healthy lifestyle can be a great new identity that they can embrace. Keep reading to learn how exercise can help during your recovery at Gallus detox Phoenix.
We all know that exercise is good for you, but what few people realize is that exercise has a profound effect on your brain chemicals. People who struggle with addiction understand what it is like to have the chemicals in your body altered. The high, that people experience while doing drugs is simply a rush of brain chemicals being released in unnatural and dangerous proportions.
Exercise also releases brain chemicals, but in a proportionate, and healthy way. This is the reason you may have heard people talking about experiencing a “runner’s high.” A “runner’s high” is a phenomenon that takes place when a person is experiencing a large dose of these good, healthy brain chemicals being released through exercise.
How Exercise Helps Recovery
Exercise has many health benefits that can help anyone willing to invest the time, but for individuals dealing with drug or alcohol recovery, exercise can have a profound effect. The basic ways that exercise can help you is through improving your heart strength, helping you lose weight, and improving your flexibility and mobility.
Specifically for people in recovery exercise can also help in the following ways:
- Helps to reduce cravings by giving you something to focus on
- Reduces withdrawal symptoms by making the body stronger
- Eases depression and anxiety caused by a big life change
- Elevates mood
- Increases self-confidence
Exercise and Your Brain
Exercise has a dramatic effect on your brain. Like the “runner’s high” mentioned earlier, brain scans show that exercise has an effect on the reward centers of your brain. In the past drugs and alcohol did this as well but in an unhealthy way. During exercise, brain chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine are released in healthy, but larger than normal doses. This has an effect on your brain’s pleasure centers. Over time, consistent exercise helps this reward system of the brain operate more normally. Exercise can quite literally help you to rewire your brain.
Another incredible effect of exercise is that as you continue to stay consistent with your routine, other brain chemicals help the brain to repair the damage through a process called neurogenesis. Drug and alcohol use can damage certain centers of the brain, but through neurogenesis, this damage can be reversed.
Overall, exercise can help you look better, increase your energy, elevate your mood, lessen or prevent cravings, relieve depression, and ultimately help heal your brain.