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Importance of Physical Wellness in Addiction Recovery

Physical wellness is a critical facet of recovery that many people don’t consider incorporating. Read on to learn more about physical wellness.

What Is Physical Wellness?

There are multiple different types of wellness that help make up a healthy life. Some examples include mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical wellness. Physical health focuses on recognizing your body’s energy, health, and overall healing needs. 

This can include ensuring you get the proper nutrition, exercising or moving your body regularly, and noticing any symptoms that may be hurting your body. Working on the physical aspect of our health can help improve many other areas of our lives, such as healing from substance abuse.1

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Goals for Achieving Physical Wellness

Everyone’s goals for working towards good physical health will look different, as no one has the same body type or the same issues to improve upon. However, some common goals for achieving physical health include the following: 

  • Understanding how your body works
  • Feeling competent in physical activities 
  • Developing well-balanced and healthy eating habits
  • Becoming a responsible drinker or a non-drinker
  • Developing and cultivating leisure activities
  • Seeking medical care when needed 

Physical Wellness in Addiction Recovery

Physical health and wellness’s role during addiction recovery cannot be understated. Making sure your body receives the nourishment, sleep, and exercise required during detox can help reduce any adverse symptoms. 

Also, many scientists have found that getting exercise and maintaining a routine during the recovery process can help the brain activate the same pathways that were active during addiction, such as your dopamine and serotonin pathways. This, in turn, helps your brain and body to replace any reliance on substances with exercise instead.2

Benefits of Physical Wellness in Addiction Recovery

Beyond working to find a replacement for substance abuse, physical wellness offers many other benefits, including:3
  • Improving your mental health 
  • Easing any withdrawal symptoms
  • Prompting and creating social connections
  • Increasing immune system health
  • Helping with relapse prevention
  • Improving brain health
Working to improve our physical health can help us become more in tune with our emotional and mental health, aiding us during detox and recovery. 

Physical Activities That Are Helpful For Addiction Recovery

If you or a loved one want to improve your physical health, it’s important to remember that we all begin from different starting points. Whether you’ve never exercised before or exercise daily, starting a new activity or recognizing other ways that we can benefit from physical wellness can significantly help you during your recovery journey. 

If you’re not used to physical activity, especially if you have a co-occurring disorder, make sure to take it slowly, as your body will benefit from being able to properly acclimate to a new routine.

Physical Activities Beneficial to Recovery and Wellness

Listed below are physical activities you can start off with and are especially helpful during the detox and recovery process: 
  • Walking   
  • Hiking
  • Jogging
  • Tai Chi
  • Yoga
  • Swimming
Also, stretching before starting any physical activity is important, as this can help activate muscles so they can get ready for more activity. It would help if you stretched five to ten minutes before starting any potentially strenuous physical activity. 

Exercise and Addiction Recovery

Research about relapse prevention models has shown that lifestyle modifications, such as developing and maintaining a plan utilizing physical wellness, is an important element during the recovery process.4

Body Conditions

Often, substance abuse disorders create or exacerbate other conditions our body has, such as mental health disorders, physical ailments, or behavioral issues. One way you or a loved one can start to combat these issues is to start exercising. 

While this doesn’t prevent addiction, it can greatly help during the recovery process by working against many relapse risks helping us create healthy coping mechanisms. Also, exercise can help the body reduce signs of anxiety, depression, and stress, which help improve our overall mental healing and wellness.5

Added Benefits of Physical Wellness

Some other ways that exercise can benefit us during recovery include increasing our energy levels, reducing potential drug cravings, helping our sleep cycle, and improving our mood. Utilizing physical health practices can create the pathway for a stronger and healthier recovery.

Physical Wellness As a Potential Treatment for Substance Abuse Disorders

Many medical professionals advocate for physical health to help recovery from substance abuse disorders. While this often will not “cure” addiction on its own, it is a way for patients to work towards mitigating symptoms of the detox process while also creating an overall healthier life for themselves. Physical health and wellness help almost all aspects of the recovery process.

Physical Wellness as a Healthy Coping Mechanism

As stated before, multiple types of research have shown that creating and sticking to an exercise regime will help distract individuals from cravings while also adding structure to their day.

This structure, along with fostering positive social connections, will help reduce boredom for patients as well. This is extremely important during the recovery process, as many people have stated boredom as one of their reasons for relapse.6

Additional Treatment Opportunities

Many treatment centers recommend utilizing physical health alongside other treatment options, such as medication-assisted treatment or psychotherapy, to help patients healthily recover from substance abuse disorders. 

Find the Right Treatment For You With Ripple Ranch Recovery

If you or a loved one want to start your recovery journey, our compassionate and knowledgeable staff at Ripple Ranch Recovery are here. We offer comprehensive and mental health-focused treatment and multiple treatment programs, including medication-assisted treatment and harm reduction practices.

Our recovery center is also located close to multiple hiking trails that offer a great start for physical wellness. These outdoor recreation and yoga classes can help you or your loved one work on your physical health to improve any side effects or symptoms from the detox process. 

Reach Out to Ripple Ranch Recovery for a Personalized Treatment Plan

We will help tailor a treatment plan individualized to you and your needs to ensure you get the help you deserve. We will be with you during the recovery process, so please reach out to us today for help with substance abuse disorders or any other co-occurring disorders.

We look forward to working with you to help you achieve long-term, sustainable wellness.