Fitting Exercise Into Your Relapse Prevention Plan 

Recovering from addiction is an extremely arduous process for anyone. Halting consumption is not the end of the struggle by any means. Preventing relapse is a major obstacle. Relapse is an unfortunately common phenomenon for those who are trying to recover from addiction. Luckily, there is a lot you can do to make it easier to stay sober after detox and develop relapse prevention skills. Exercise is one of the things that can help you stay on the path to recovery.

Exercise Has Mental and Physical Benefits

Exercise has many all-around benefits. Emotionally, physically, and mentally, it provides advantages in maintaining sobriety. Exercise helps to improve your:

  • Physical health and energy levels
  • The immune system and ability to fight disease and sickness
  • Personal appearance
  • Physical strength and sexual energy
  • Emotional and mental health
  • Self-esteem and confidence
  • Attitude toward yourself and others
  • Ability to control mood swings
  • Ability to manage anxiety and depression

You will also increase your social interaction if you exercise at a gym or with a group of friends. Exercising with other people creates a special bond between those people that can be extremely beneficial to overall happiness.

Relapse Prevention Through Exercise: Exercise Has Mental and Physical Benefits

Relapse Prevention Through Exercise: Exercise Has Mental and Physical Benefits

Exercise Helps Patients Cope With Mental Illness

Exercise is especially advantageous in coping with mental illness. Not only is it great for physical health, it provides a distraction from things that exacerbate mental health issues. Cardio, also called aerobic, exercise can temper anxiety, anger, and depression while providing a productive method of stress management. To be most effective, you should perform aerobic exercise that raises your heartbeat and keeps it raised for 20 minutes or so.

Holistic Therapies and Mental Health

Holistic addiction treatments can be effective ways to prevent relapse. They are more natural solutions that someone in recovery can easily incorporate into his or her life.

Yoga provides a sense of calm and inner clarity. It is ideal for handling the stress and anxiety that accompany mental illness and addiction recovery. You can schedule time to work on physical poses and stretching, or you can work on breathing exercises throughout the day. Breathing techniques are especially beneficial when you are feeling upset or having a craving.

Meditate To Avoid Relapse

Mindfulness meditation is another way to stay sober after rehab. It focuses on helping people become more self-aware. Increased awareness helps people identify moments when the temptation to relapse is strong, so they can gain control before it happens.

Acupuncture Can Reduce Cravings

Acupuncture, performed by a professional, is geared toward energy. It involves gently placed needles at various points in your body. It is meant to improve your flow of energy and improve body functions. This leads to a calmer state of being and reduced cravings.

Massage Improves Physical State

Massage therapy focuses on physical sensations. It improves blood flow and all physical body systems. A healthier and more comfortable physical state will foster a better mental state, combating mental illness and addiction.

Relapse Triggers And Coping Skills

One of the main ways that exercise is an effective method for relapse prevention is that it calms some of the triggers that tend to lead to relapse.

Depression, Stress, Exhaustion All Relapse Triggers

Depression is one of the most common triggers for relapse. People often begin using drugs in an attempt to combat depression. If they begin feeling depressed again during recovery, it is possible that they will turn back to drugs, hoping to stop their depressing thoughts.

Stress is another common trigger. People use drugs to deal with stress and anxiety. Research in European neuropsychopharmacology revealed that people who used drugs to cope with stress in the past will likely turn to the same outlet when they are facing stress in the future.

Exhaustion is another cause of relapse. It often comes along with a general lack of self-care, which can lead to further drug use.

Isolation can also spur a relapse. If a person feels alone and does not have a solid and active support system, it increases feelings of defeat and may lead them to begin using again.

Start Exercising For Relapse Prevention Coping Skills

Exercise helps to combat relapse triggers. Research shows that exercise increases happiness and overall mood, which is a large factor in preventing depression. Physical activity also reduces stress. Instead of turning to drugs to cope with stressful situations, people can use exercise to improve their mental and physical well-being. Exercise increases overall energy flow and alertness, helping to prevent exhaustion. Finally, working out with a friend or a group is an ideal way to build relationships and avoid isolation and loneliness.

Effective Exercise For Relapse Prevention

There are many types of exercise that serve as effective ways to prevent relapse. Team sports such as soccer, tennis, and baseball are great choices. The connection that develops in a team provides a support system and a sense of being part of a group.

Relapse Prevention Through Exercise: Holistic Therapies and Mental Health

Relapse Prevention Through Exercise: Holistic Therapies and Mental Health

Running is one of the most convenient and reliable exercises for bettering your emotional, mental, and physical state. You can do it at any time, without the need for any special equipment. Running partners can also be a great support system. Walking at a pace that increases your cardiac output is also a reliable exercise that needs no equipment.

Yoga is also an ideal way to prevent relapse. It helps center people mentally and emotionally. This fosters a sense of self-worth, improving perspective on the world, and increasing overall awareness.

Featured Photo by Jenny Hill on Unsplash