If you’re sitting around waiting for a positive mental attitude to show up on your doorstep, that’s not going to happen. Try getting up and dragging out those tennies that have been hiding somewhere in the back of your closet, and just do it. Exercise, that is. There’s a biological basis for that advice.
Research indicates that endorphins are released when you exercise. Endorphins are natural substances manufactured in your brain, spinal cord, and many other parts of your body, and are released in response to brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. Endorphins bind to neurotransmitters that trigger a highly energized feeling throughout the body. Runners will sometimes describe a feeling of “euphoria” that comes after a run or a workout. Some even refer to this feeling as a “runner’s high.”
In addition, aerobic exercise oxygenates the cells of the body, including the brain cells, which results in clearer thinking and maybe even better decisions. This is where the tennies come in handy – aerobic exercise is the kind that kicks up the heart rate, where breathing will be heavier and sweat more profuse. Running, biking, basketball, jazzercise, and hiking – all are good examples of aerobic exercise, along with water sports like swimming, canoeing, surfing and kayaking
Exercise also builds routine into one’s schedule, if it is practiced regularly. Recovering addicts and alcoholics typically thrive on routine in their lives. A regular exercise class or workout can bring order to what was once a turbulent lifestyle, resulting in a positive mental attitude.
Many addicts have languished for too long prior to recovery and may find they are out of shape, so checking in with a medical doctor before embarking on an exercise regimen makes sense. Goals are also an important part of a successful exercise regimen, along with monitoring progress and celebrating success.
What are some of your favorite recovery tunes? Add your thoughts and comments below and follow us on Facebook!