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Importance of Physical Wellness in Recovery

Many rehab clinics include physical wellness programs into their practices in order to help patients recover faster.

What is Wellness?

The National Wellness Institute defines wellness as an active process through which individuals become aware of themselves and make appropriate choices toward a more prosperous existence.

Wellness is an active act of determining the best options for a healthy and enjoyable life. It can include movement from mindless to conscious life when you or your loved ones actively make good choices to improve productivity, performance, wellness, and recovery. 1

The Importance of Wellness in Recovery

Wellness activities for adults are vital in addiction rehabilitation, and even to help with issues related to the aging process. Regular exercise and healthy eating may help ease the side effects of drug addictions, heart diseases, being overweight, and the risks of falls.

The necessity for minerals, vitamins, and physical activity rises after poor nutrition and lack of exercise due to addictive behavior, meaning proper nutrition and exercise are vital. Healthy lifestyle choices encourage a faster recovery, abstinence maintenance, and even longevity. Wellness is multifaceted and comprehensive in that it encompasses many aspects of one's life.

Dimensions of Wellness and Recovery

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration defines wellness as more than simply the absence of sickness or stress. It defines total wellness in several other dimensions as well:

  • Emotional: The emotional aspect of wellness means dealing with life issues healthily, including forming a fulfilling relationship, is a crucial emotional wellness goal.
  • Financial: Financial wellness is the ability to handle both the existing and future financial situation. 
  • Social: Social wellness is fostering a feeling of community and belonging, which are wellness activities that boost mental health.
  • Holistic: Our holistic wellness is when we enhance our sense of true calling in life, which can impact our physical wellness goals also.
  • Occupational: Occupational wellness is the feeling of fulfillment and richness from your job or how you spend your time.
  • Physical: Being active, eating well, thinking positively, and sleeping well are part of the physical wellness dimension.
  • Intellectual: Intellectual wellness is identifying, developing, and growing your intellectual talents effectively.
  • Environmental: Our environmental wellness is when we enjoy delightful and exciting settings that promote your health resulting from your surroundings. 

One may argue that regaining our physical health following years of drug or alcohol abuse is the first step towards wellness. 2

Why Is Physical Wellness So Important For Recovery?

The foundation of long-term rehabilitation is a solid lifetime of physical fitness and wellness. It takes a while to enable our bodies to repair once active drug use has taken its toll on them, either over a short or long period of time. It all begins with taking care of one's physical well-being, including getting enough sleep, eating well, and exercising.

How Does Physical Wellness Work In Addiction Recovery?

Although nutrition is critical to healing, it isn't the sole factor. A concentrated effort is necessary to completely recover from physical and mental health issues that generally follow long periods of substance abuse. One of the most important things you can do is get some exercise.

Exercise is beneficial to both the body and the mind. A person is unlikely to obtain the amount of activity required to live a healthy lifestyle and maintain a muscular structure during regular drug abuse. It is possible to improve bone and muscular strength through regular exercise, and it may also help you deal with stress more effectively.

Cortisol, a stress hormone, gets secreted into our body when we are under stress. This hormone might cause extreme stress symptoms like heart palpitations, and can even cause mental health conditions if the body gets too much cortisol. In contrast, regular exercising burns off cortisol, meaning that many people feel better after exercising if they are experiencing stress, frustrations, or anxieties.

How Physical Fitness and Wellness Leads to Recovery

An individual's physical health may play an essential role in their recovery from addiction. Here are a few examples of how physical fitness and wellness can help during recovery.

Lowering Stress Levels 

Many people who recover from substance abuse issues have to actively work on avoiding a relapse. Recovering from a substance and having it out of your body can cause you to be on edge and push you towards using again, which means that many people need a way to distract themselves.

Exercising is one of the best physical and mental wellness activities to relieve stress in the body. It calms the parts of the brain that are responsible for regulating anxiety.

Creating New Relationships

Distancing yourself from individuals who fostered your addiction is crucial to many people's road to wellness and recovery, but making new acquaintances might be challenging in many settings. Group fitness activities, like yoga, meditation, spin classes, and many other will allow you the opportunity to organically meet new people and make friends.

Social connections are often a very important part for those recovering from addiction as well, so being able to create new bonds while also exercising can help recovering individuals in many different ways.

Helps You Feel Better

Increase your self-confidence, ability to deal with stress, sense of control, and general wellness by getting some exercise. Physical and mental wellness activities at work can even enhance job satisfaction and promote wellness at work. Exercise also generally helps with our overall mood and wellbeing.

What Are the Benefits of Physical Wellness During Addiction Treatment?

Recent research shows that adhering to a weekly fitness plan can reduce drug usage and even boost sobriety for individuals. It's alarming to learn that not even 5% of adults in the United States get the recommended amount of physical exercise each day. 3

How can exercising lead to abstinence and promote physical and mental wellbeing?

Relieves Cravings

Exercise may help those who have a history of drug abuse, such as those recovering from cocaineopioids, amphetamines, and marijuana.

Research shows that regular physical activity can boost abstinence days, which impacts wellness recovery. Regular exercise promotes oxygenation and nutrient flow to muscles as well. This increased nutrient intake makes the body stronger and better able to release energy across the day. Having more energy makes everyday duties simpler and helps resist the impulse to take drugs. 4

Manages Withdrawal Symptoms

Drug and alcohol misuse may have long-term impacts on the mind and body. Mood swings, irritability, cravings, and anxiety may make it difficult to resist temptations to relapse, particularly for those not in a structured rehab facility that can help them access physical therapy and wellness.

Addiction recovery providers often try to minimize withdrawal symptoms throughout detoxification, and early recovery and physical exercise come in handy. Exercise may be a helpful diversion in times of overwhelming drug cravings and impulses and may also help with anxiety, tension, mood, and general wellness recovery.

Relieves Stress

Exercise immediately impacts the brain's anxiety and stress control center. High and low intensity workouts can lower stress, increase mental awareness, and provide mental relaxation.

In addition to focusing on the body's motion rather than stimuli, physical exercise releases chemicals that alleviate pain. Regular physical activity can help regulate stress hormones like adrenaline. For example, if you are dealing with a toxic boss, exercise can come in handy in maintaining wellness even at work, as it keeps your overall adrenaline at a minimum.

Aids Sleep

Sleep is vital to healing; without it, we can't operate at our optimum or make the most significant decisions for ourselves. Its deprivation causes fatigue, which may lead to drug relapse and also hamper our social emotional wellness.

Regular exercise may help you sleep by boosting the recuperative mechanisms that repair strength and health when you sleep.

Regaining Physical Strength

Physical exercise and other wellness and recovery activities early on in the detox process can assist recovering addicts in rebuilding strength and muscle mass lost due to poor food, lack of physical activity, and other substance use-induced inadequacies.

Strength-based training can also be incredibly satisfying. Getting your body moving by dancing, rock climbing, or gymnastics may help you grow muscle, enhance your mood, among many other positives.

Find Help with Physical Wellness at Genesis Recovery

Physical  Wellness

Clients at Genesis Recovery have access to many various wellness and recovery activities and programs. Taking part in our therapeutic techniques is an excellent way to improve physical wellness, as it can help you build strength and allow you to overcome the effects of past substance abuse. Physical wellness programs are slowly being more and more utilized in traditional detox programs as well.

Physical wellness can help beyond the aid to the detox and recovery process. Physical wellness and exercise also impact our general and every day mood, energy, and stress levels. It’s a great way to help with the recovery process, but is also imperative in helping us feel our best every single day.

Genesis Recovery is here to access physical therapy and wellness and help you or your loved ones get started on the road to sobriety. Contact us to learn more about our physical wellness and mental well-being programs today!


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