Exercise significantly benefits us as humans. However, we live in a society in which exercise may have been pushed upon us in a very intense way at one point or another, and that could have negatively affected us. The truth is that not only can exercise be fun, but there are not any rules. Moving our bodies in whatever way we feel can provide numerous benefits for our mental health, emotions, and self-esteem.
Improved Mental Health
There are many benefits of exercise therapy. It can positively affect not only our physical bodies but our mental health as well. Through regular exercise, we can move through the world with confidence and ease. These benefits are especially important when we are in recovery, whether we are in treatment or focusing on sobriety maintenance.
Reduced Negative Feelings
At times, our bodies may start to feel stagnant if we stay stationary for too long. This lack of movement could start to affect not only our physical bodies but our mental health as well.
Fortunately, moving our bodies in whatever way we can reduces anxiety, depression, and the general experience of negative emotions. When we move our bodies, our brains release chemicals called endorphins. These chemicals work with receptors in our brains to reduce the perception of pain and boost an overall positive feeling throughout our bodies and minds. Although regular exercise is not enough to address mental health disorders, it can be a helpful complement to medication and therapy.
Self-esteem can be a tricky subject for some of us, especially after treatment. It can be tough to find ourselves again and regain our sense of identity. Exercise therapy can proactively strengthen our confidence and sense of self.
Of course, it is common for us to not feel as confident when we first start something new, whether that be a new hobby, job, sport, or activity. This can also be true for exercise.
It can take some time to find what types of exercise suit us best and make practicing them a prioritized part of our daily or weekly routines. Over time, through regular engagement in a particular form of exercise, we will see our abilities improve, which can increase our confidence and prove that we are capable of more than we realized.
Types of Exercise Therapy
The great thing about exercise therapy is that there are endless ways to practice it, and specific practices can be modified to suit anyone’s capabilities. The goal of this type of therapy is to feel good about ourselves, not to become competitive or to compare ourselves to anyone else.
The following types of exercise can be especially useful for people who are starting to build an exercise practice.
Range of Motion Exercise
Some exercises can help us with our range of motion, which is beneficial to the overall mobility of our bodies. Without upkeep of our range of motion, some body movements may start to cause pain, making everyday tasks difficult.
Balance training is meant to help strengthen our core and calf muscles to reduce the risk of falling. This can create a better sense of stability, both physically and mentally. The more confident we are in our movements, the more confident we can be overall.
Creating Achievable Goals
Exercise therapy can be an exciting practice. It can be easy to forget how incredible our bodies are and how much they do for us. They carry us throughout our day and constantly work to keep us alive.
To give our bodies the appreciation they deserve, we can create simple goals for our bodies to achieve through exercise and remember to celebrate our victories. For example, we might start by making a goal to walk a lap around a local park or do any sort of exercise for 20 minutes, three times a week.
Progressive Resistance Training
Exercise therapy can help us achieve a better state of mind and improve our general well-being. Implementing progressive resistance training can help us avoid plateauing in our exercise therapy. This means that once we feel comfortable physically and mentally walking one lap around a park, maybe we can try walking two laps around. When we move our bodies, we make strides towards a healthier and more confident version of ourselves.
Recovery and Exercise Therapy
Recovery from substance use disorder (SUD) can present many different obstacles for us to overcome. When we think about how much our physical health affects our ability to do daily tasks and have a positive mindset, we can see how important it is not to neglect our physical exercise.
When we prioritize our mental and physical health, we can grow into the best versions of ourselves. We can show up not only for other people but for ourselves as well.
Listening to Our Bodies
Exercise therapy can aid in our ability to learn what our bodies need and listen to those requests. It is okay to rest when we are tired, and it is great to move our bodies when we can. There are no rules in exercise therapy. As long as we are making consistent efforts, we will see results. Everyone’s body is an amazing gift and worth taking care of through exercise therapy.
Exercise therapy is a great way to help us on our road to recovery. It can be easy to slip into a routine of not getting outside much or moving our bodies enough. Exercise therapy promotes healthy movements while not putting pressure on personal achievement or competition with others. Exercise therapy can improve our mental health and lessen symptoms of anxiety and depression. Practicing exercise regularly can improve our overall mood and well-being. Any sort of physical movement can seem intimidating at first. However, as long as we listen to our bodies and know our limits, this form of therapy can be highly beneficial. During and after seeking treatment for substance abuse, utilizing exercise therapy in recovery can significantly help us succeed and stay sober. To learn more about treatment options and the benefits of exercise therapy, call 449 Recovery at (949) 435-7449.