Renaissance Ranch

Get Moving: The Importance of Physical Activity

May 5, 2022

Getting and staying active can make a huge difference in your overall health. Studies suggest that those with a more active lifestyle live longer, happier lives as a result. Physical activity can benefit your mood, boost your energy levels, and serves as a great addition to your daily routine during and after treatment. 

What Is Considered Physical Activity?

Physical activity doesn’t necessarily have to involve going to the gym for hours and lifting weights or running miles on a treadmill. It can be something as simple as taking a walk outside to get some fresh air, swimming, or even doing some work around the house. With temperatures heating up, conditions are perfect for some outdoor games, gardening, or taking your dog for a walk. Biking and hiking are great options this time of year, too. May is National Bike Month, after all! Biking can be a great alternative when driving is not an option, or when your commute is of reasonable distance. 

Benefits of Exercise

The benefits of moving your body regularly are endless. Exercise impacts the way your body looks, feels, and functions. If you are feeling well, both mentally and physically, you are more likely to have an optimistic outlook on treatment and/or recovery and have a better chance of long-term sobriety. The advantages of physical activity can be classified into two main categories: mental benefits and physical benefits.  

Mental Benefits

While many think primarily of the physical perks of exercise, there are many internal, less obvious advantages, as well. Exercise can improve your mental health in various ways. A few examples include:

  • Mood improvements
  • Increased self-image and confidence
  • Higher energy levels
  • Reduced stress and accompanying symptoms
  • Better sleep

Exercise releases endorphins, which in turn improves your mood. Have you ever noticed how great you feel after a little exercise or a walk outdoors? Even a brief ten-minute stroll is often enough to release endorphins and have you feeling better. (Learn more about the benefits of exercise relating to brain functions here.) Being physically active can also leave you feeling more confident with a better self-image. 

Are you feeling lethargic and struggling by each afternoon to push through the day? Incorporate some sort of activity into your routine. Exercise can improve energy levels and encourage better sleep, which in turn means more energy for the next day! 

Perhaps most importantly, exercise can help you lessen and better cope with stress. We all experience stress. Some feel stressed daily, others are more fortunate and experience stress less often. While some level of stress is unavoidable, exercise can help you better respond to stress, allowing you to experience fewer symptoms and disruptions to your daily life as a result. 

Physical Benefits

Exercise and living an active lifestyle can have many physical benefits. These advantages determine not only how you appear, but how your body feels and operates. A few examples include:

  • Weight management
  • Stronger muscles, joints, bones
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduced risk of heart attack and other health challenges

Managing your weight can become more difficult, the older and busier you become. Even five-star athletes can struggle with weight management later in life, due to injuries, health issues, or lifestyle changes. Regular physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight and preserve bone, muscle, and joint strength, allowing you to keep moving! 

Exercise and physical activity also dramatically reduce the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, diabetes, and other serious health risks. Adding a bit of activity to your daily routine and following recommended activity guidelines can make a big difference in your health, long-term. 

Physical Activity During Treatment

Aside from the above-mentioned mental and physical benefits of exercise, moving your body regularly can improve your treatment experience, as well. With an improved mood, you are more likely to remain motivated to stay on track and make choices in favor of your goals. Exercise results in better sleep, which ultimately means more focus and energy to put into your new lifestyle. The changes that occur due to deciding to seek treatment can be significant and may cause major stress. Physical activity directly affects hormonal and chemical responses in the brain, which allow you to better manage and cope with these stressors. 

Making exercise or physical activity a priority during treatment is not only a great idea, but many facilities encourage it. The reason being, all of the advantages just discussed! Your mood, sleep, stress, and even weight are bound to be affected during this time of change. Physical activity can help balance and improve all of these factors. 

Exercising or just adding a little physical activity to your day can really boost your mood and leave you feeling better. Whether you enjoy lifting weights, outdoor strolls, yoga, or other activities, there are various benefits to both your mental and physical health in making movement a priority. Due to the health benefits of physical activity, incorporating this into your routine can result in a more positive and successful treatment experience. Here at Renaissance Ranch, we prioritize a holistic approach to treatment and offer a variety of recreational-based activities to add to your schedule. Are you or someone you love struggling with alcohol or drug addiction? Let us help you develop a personalized treatment plan, incorporating health and wellness components to complement your overall experience. To begin your journey to sobriety and all-around better health, call Renaissance Ranch today at (801) 308-8898.