How Can Physical Activity Help a Recovering Addict? Exercise is a Positive Activity & More

Military veterans returning from service often suffer from emotional and physical trauma. Unfortunately, trauma often leads to dependency issues as a way to cope with the stressors of acclimating to some semblance of everyday life. For Veterans, drug and alcohol dependency is a way to make it through the day and sleep at night. Past trauma and PTSD are a growing concern, and addiction recovery programs can provide Veterans with the necessary help to lead emotionally and physically happy and fulfilling lives. One of the many facets of a successful treatment program is the benefits of exercise during addiction recovery.

Why is Exercise So Important in Addiction Recovery?

1. Exercise relieves tension and reduces stress: Exercise improves mental well-being by helping to alleviate psychological and physical stress. Stress causes your body to tense and can be a response to flight or fight. For veterans, this can be caused by loud noise, crowds, or any situation that makes them feel uncomfortable. Movement can help to alleviate physical discomfort caused by stress while allowing the mind to rid itself of emotional energy and negativity.
2. Exercise has been proven to alter brain chemistry: Exercise releases a chemical called endorphins, which make you feel happy. Endorphins are the same chemicals individuals addicted to drugs release, but the chemicals react differently in the body when mixed with these substances. Instead of feeling joy, alcohol, and drugs create an imbalance that interferes with an individual’s ability to feel anything, let alone happiness or pleasure. For Veterans, a dedicated exercise regime during treatment and recovery can help balance the natural endorphins produced to help them feel better while regulating brain activity and improving their mood.
3. A mind and body in motion stay in motion: Experts in rehabilitation believe that exercise is good for the body, the mind, and the soul. In experiencing the physical effects of training and conditioning, veterans can also share the emotional and psychological benefits of improving their well-being through movement to refocus on the present and push back the overwhelming presence of their past traumatic experiences. It is possible to find clarity, feel hopeful, and rejuvenate through the repetition of the exercise and form of movement, making recovery addiction more manageable.
4. Exercise improves your overall outlook: when combined with an addiction recovery program, exercise can improve overall perspective and help veterans achieve self-confidence while reducing feelings of helplessness, anxiety, and depression. Regardless of an individual’s fitness level, the body is designed to build lean muscle and regulate itself to push harder as endorphins are released into the bloodstream. This increases feelings of self-worth and accomplishment as the body shows signs of positive transformation.

Training Veterans Out of Victorious Gym in Troy, Michigan

Other benefits of exercise include better sleep, feelings of hope and well-being, and more energy. All of these elements make life enjoyable and more manageable as affected veterans strive to make a full recovery. To learn more about Martial Arts exercise for Veterans, contact the experts at Foxhole Veterans Charity Foundation today!

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