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Importance of Physical Wellness in Recovery

Physical wellness means listening to and taking care of your body. It has also been shown to be successful in aiding addiction recovery.

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What Is Physical Wellness?

Physical wellness is more than just diet and exercise. Physical wellness means listening to and taking care of your body for optimal health and functioning. Paying attention to how much physical activity you get, what food you put into your body, and making sure you get regular medical check-ups are all part of this type of wellness. 1

Why Is Physical Wellness Important?

The many benefits of physical well-being may include:
  • Understanding how your body works: If you do not focus on your physical health, it can sometimes be difficult to notice when things are wrong. This wellness can help you become in tune with your body.
  • Feeling competent at physical activities: The more you focus on your wellness and physical well-being, the more confident and comfortable you will be with physical activities.
  • Developing well-balanced and healthy eating habits: A focus on wellness and recovery can help you improve and maintain weight by learning and understanding healthy eating habits. 2
  • Becoming a responsible drinker or non-drinker: Engaging in  activities can help improve negative alcohol behaviors by increasing the neurotransmitters that cause positive feelings and decreasing the desire to drink. 3
  • Developing and cultivating leisure activities: Part of the physical wellness definition includes engaging in forming healthy hobbies and leisure activities. 
  • Seeking medical care when needed: It’s also important to regularly seek medical care when needed.

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Physical Wellness

Physical Wellness in Addiction Recovery

Creating healthy habits and taking care of your physical health is important in addiction recovery, as it is the focus for many physical and mental needs. During active addiction, physical wellness is often compromised and can negatively impact other areas of your life as well. By focusing on wellness and recovery, you can improve or even reverse some of the damage done by substance abuse.

Benefits of Physical Wellness

The reason why this type of wellness should be taken seriously in addiction recovery is attributed to the various benefits of engaging in activities. Some of these benefits include:
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  • Improving mental health: Physical well-being can improve mood, decrease stress and anxiety, and improve self-esteem.
  • Easing withdrawal symptoms: Since many of the symptoms of withdrawal are related to mood, such as anxiety and depression, engaging in exercise for addiction recovery can help to ease withdrawal symptoms.
  • Promote social connections: Physical wellbeing can help you find healthy and enjoyable activities to engage in that can also foster social connections.
  • Strengthen the immune system: This can occur with healthy eating and regular exercise. The immune system is also strengthened with improved sleep.
  • Prevent relapse: By replacing negative habits with positive ones and focusing on your physical well-being, you can reduce cravings and replace potential risks

Physical Activities That Are Helpful for Addiction Recovery

There are many activities that can be done for physical wellness and recovery. Some fitness activities that may be helpful for recovery and overall wellness include:
  • Walking
  • Hiking
  • Jogging
  • Tai Chi
  • Yoga
  • Swimming

Exercise and Addiction Recovery

There have been some studies that suggest that regular exercise can help to prevent addiction by decreasing the likelihood of relapse. This may be due to the fact that regular exercise not only increases the mood-enhancing neurotransmitters in the brain, such as dopamine, but provides a distraction from cravings and forms positive connections to individual self-esteem and social interactions. 5

Physical Exercise and Mental Healing

This type of wellness also has the benefit of improving mental health and healing throughout addiction recovery. Many substances result in poor mental health with increased depression, anxiety, stress, suicidal ideation, and higher risk of psychotic disorders. However, exercise, healthy eating, and regular engagement in healthy hobbies have been shown to improve many of these mental health conditions.6

5 Ways Exercise Can Benefit Recovery

The physical wellness definition also strongly focuses on physical exercise. Here are five ways that including a physical workout in addiction recovery can be beneficial:
  1. Increases energy level
  2. Reduces drug cravings
  3. Reduces stress
  4. Helps to sleep better
  5. Improves mood
Physical wellness

Physical Wellness as a Potential Treatment for Drug Addiction

A focus on health and recovery is important in many treatment programs because of the benefits of physical well-being for the recovery of addiction. As such, exercise and addiction recovery have often gone hand-in-hand in the treatment of drug and alcohol addiction. This is due to the many benefits that exercise has on the brain and the body, which explains why it is important. 7

There have been many studies that support the use of exercise and addiction recovery. For example, research has shown that exercise has antidepressant effects and also improves cardiovascular fitness, which has positive results for those with alcohol addiction. Also, combining exercise and alcohol withdrawal has been shown to decrease anxiety and minimize severe symptoms. 8

Is Physical Wellness a Standalone Treatment for Addiction?

Though exercise and addiction recovery are important, this wellness should incorporate all forms of treatment for the best results. To best improve physical well-being, it is also important to engage in a variety of treatments, including group therapy, individual behavior therapy, family or couples therapy, and support groups.

Also, to fully engage in wellness and recovery, you should focus on all areas of wellness, including the reasons why this type of wellness is important, taking care of your mental health, and reconnecting with support systems.

Find The Right Treatment for You at San Diego Detox

San Diego Detox is a full-service detoxification and recovery center that focuses on wellness and recovery. Our dedicated and compassionate team of mental health professionals provides holistic and individualized evidence-based care for various addiction and mental health disorders.

One of our goals at San Diego Detox is to help people discover why physical wellness is important to them and create a plan that works for them alongside their healing process. What do wellness and recovery mean to you and how can San Diego Detox help? For more information about the program at San Diego Detox, contact us today.