Physical Fitness: Warding Off Symptoms of Mental Illness in Recovery

Highest Standards, Nationally Recognized:

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) emphasizes that many people with addiction have a comorbid disorder with mental illness; about half of people who experience a mental illness also experience a substance use disorder (SUD) at some point in their lives and vice versa. Those entering recovery often need support to heal from more than just an addiction – they need a support system, tools and resources to help them navigate the symptoms of mental illness, too. Integrated treatment is so important here for this very reason – addiction isn’t the only aspect of our lives.

Physical fitness provides so many benefits to the mind, body and spirit. Physically, exercise can make us stronger, leaner, more flexible, and more in tune to the present moment. For mental illnesses – which often come with symptoms such as anxiety, depression, mood swings, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, low self and more – physical fitness can train the mind to work better. A 2016 study published in the journal World Psychiatry reminds us that physical activity doesn’t have to be a rough, challenging, momentous sprint or marathon for us to receive the benefits; for many, light exercises, such as walking or even exercises by sitting, can be beneficial – especially if someone in recovery has physical limitations that prevent them from a wide range of movement.

In 2014, researchers published a study in the journal Disability and Rehabilitation that sought to explore the effects of physical exercise on those with mild to moderate depression. The study’s results found that exercise therapy can assist those in recovery with coping mechanisms, improved body image, enhanced quality of life and increased independence in older adults. When mental illness is present, it can be difficult to get started in physical activity – but having a set schedule within treatment for addiction recovery makes it that much easier to ensure that a person is supported in their fitness goals.

Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, call us today at 888-958-7511 for a consultation. It’s never too late, and there are people here ready to help you.

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