How Building Your Physical Health Can Help You Avoid An Addiction Relapse - Susan Treadway

Jun 21, 2018




Relapsing is always a concern for people recovering from substance addiction. Post-rehab life can be daunting as you work on rebuilding your life and staying sober. People in recovery need to work on both their body and mind to build strength and avoid a relapse, and activities such as meditation, yoga, and swimming are great ways to build wellness on both fronts.


Create a structured schedule and recognize your triggers


Psych Central shares that those who are successful at staying sober focus on creating a positive support network, avoiding temptations, and building up a healthy daily schedule. This schedule needs to include basics such as work, family time, and meetings, but it's also important to build in exercise and other healthy activities and keep the risk of being bored to a minimum.


Someone determined to avoid a relapse also needs to recognize triggers that could spark problems. These differ from person to person, but often include issues with social isolation, stress, boredom, and mental or physical illness. Staying busy with healthy activities like meditation and exercise works well to combat some of these triggers.

While it is important that you create a schedule you can stick to, your schedule can and should include group activities. Exercising in group settings such as CrossFit offer the socialization you need, while also enabling you to surround yourself with positive people who want to see you succeed. Community support is important because there will be some days when you just feel like you can’t do it. Find an exercise partner, find a social exercise setting you enjoy, and reap the benefits of accountability, encouragement, and support.


Utilize meditation to improve your physical health


Meditation is known for its mental health benefits, but it sparks physical health improvements, too. It can boost your immune system as it reduces cortisol, a stress hormone, and it can improve your sleep and lower blood pressure. Many people who meditate find that their heart and breathing rates improve and experience fewer brain, heart, and inflammatory issues.


People can benefit from meditation by using some simple techniques for just a few minutes each day. Prevention explains that even daily chores can be utilized for meditation by noticing every detail of the process and being present and observant. Another meditation strategy that can calm you down is to step back as a situation becomes stressful and imagine that you’re observing yourself. Practicing simple techniques like these can be invaluable when addiction triggers arise.


Simple yoga poses can strengthen your body


Yoga also provides physical benefits that are useful in maintaining your sobriety and avoiding a relapse. Psychology Today details that yoga impacts all systems in the body, helps increase your strength and blood flow, as well as assists your lymphatic system in getting rid of toxins.


Practicing yoga with some simple poses can release tension from your body, maintain your nervous system, and relax you. These benefits help you build your physical strength so you can remain committed and determined to avoiding an addiction relapse.


Turn to swimming for a soothing, all-around workout


Those in recovery may also want to try swimming for improving their health and maintaining their sobriety. It helps you build endurance, strength, and cardiovascular fitness, but it is not stressful to your body. Swimming is a great all-around exercise that works out muscles throughout your body and it also improves flexibility and coordination.


Swimming has a low risk of injury so it is a great option for those who avoid intense types of exercise. When you combine the physical health benefits and the soothing, calming feelings that swimming generates, you can see that it’s a great activity for those in recovery who are working on rebuilding their health and maintaining their sobriety.


Avoiding relapse is critical for those recovering from an addiction. Building up your physical health after substance abuse helps a great deal in reducing anxiety and stress, plus it strengthens your resolve to stay sober. As your physical strength increases, you will find yourself better able to cope with the challenges that come your way. Whether you try meditation, yoga, or swimming, you can calm your mind while strengthening your body and conquer your substance abuse once and for all.