Despite many myths about marijuana, it can be addictive, and more and more individuals are seeking treatment for their marijuana addiction every day. However, getting sober is not just a process that requires clinical intervention. It requires healthy lifestyle changes as well. That may include cooking healthier foods or going to therapy on a regular basis. However, exercise and fitness are also excellent ways to refrain from marijuana use.
Marijuana is the most-used illicit drug in the United States. With its legalization, recreational use is becoming more common, despite the potentially dangerous effects it can have on individuals. If you have recognized the adverse consequences of your recreational marijuana use, you have come to the right place. West Coast Recovery Centers can help you recover today. Continue reading to learn more about marijuana addiction and the role exercise and fitness can play in your sobriety.
The Benefits of Exercise and Fitness on Physical Health
Before talking about marijuana and how exercise and fitness can help you abstain from it, consider the general advantages they have on physical health. Most of us know that exercise has several advantages for our physical well-being. For example, it helps us lose weight, manage a healthy weight, gain muscle, and improve bodily functions.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), physical activity is “one of the most important things you can do for your health.” It improves brain health, manages weight, reduces disease risks, strengthens bones and muscles, and improves our ability to complete daily activities. Physical activity is also preventative.
The Role of Physical Activity in Preventing Chronic Physical Conditions
One example of why a person may increase their physical activity is to improve their heart function. Heat disease is a leading cause of death in the United States, and according to the CDC, at least “150 minutes a week of moderate physical activity” can reduce the risks of developing heart disease. It can also help reduce the risk of stroke or developing other chronic conditions like diabetes or metabolic concerns.
Aside from chronic conditions such as these, the CDC also indicates that physical activity can lower the risk of developing a number of cancers. According to them, adults engaging in more exercise have reduced chances of developing:
- Bladder cancer
- Breast cancer
- Colon cancer
- Endometrium cancer
- Esophagus cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Lung cancer
- Stomach cancer
But how do physical activity, exercise, and fitness improve mental health?
Can Exercise and Fitness Benefit Your Mental Health?
For years, a common misconception about exercise and fitness was that they only benefit our physical health. We now know that physical activity can be instrumental in improving mental health. It can reduce anxiety, depression, and stress, improve sleep, and enhance mood and emotional well-being.
Exercise and fitness can also boost self-esteem. Lacking confidence can degrade mental well-being. The worse we feel about ourselves, the harder it can be to maintain mental health. Exercise can improve weight, endurance, and muscle tone, which, over time, will help you gain more self-confidence. We feel well when our bodies feel well, so it makes sense that nourishing our bodies helps improve our minds.
What Are the Potential Dangers of Using Marijuana?
Before discussing how exercise and fitness help you stay sober from marijuana, let us briefly consider the potential risks of marijuana use. Using marijuana comes with many risks, including dependency. The active ingredient — delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — is a mind-altering chemical that your body may begin craving.
Ironically enough, many people begin marijuana use to cope with mental or physical health conditions. However, too many forget to consider the potential risks, which may include:
- Respiratory problems
- Extreme nausea or vomiting
- Compromised immune function
- Reduced memory function
- Impaired decision-making skills
- Risk of heart attack
- Temporary paranoia and hallucinations or worsening of these symptoms in individuals with mental health disorders
Of course, a significant risk of using marijuana is becoming dependent on it. Thankfully, exercise and fitness may help you abstain and stay sober.
How Exercise and Fitness Can Help You Stay Sober From Marijuana
In addition to improving physical and mental well-being and overall mood, exercise release endorphins and dopamine. This can help those struggling with marijuana addiction and substance use disorder (SUD).
Research on the impact of physical activity on addiction indicates that exercise and fitness can help:
- Increase chances of abstaining from substance use
- Reduce withdrawal symptoms
- Ease symptoms of anxiety and depression
Exercises You Can Try Today
Exercise and fitness also provide a distraction. Triggers can cause you to experience cravings when least expected. Exercise is an effective way to distract yourself from these triggers.
A common stereotype or misconception is that you must be a fitness aficionado to get into exercise. However, that could not be further from the truth. All you have to do is find a workout you enjoy doing and carve out time throughout the week to do it.
Some exercises you can start trying today are:
- Strength training
- Walking, hiking, or rock climbing
- Taking up a sport
- Trying at-home calisthenic workouts
Adding exercise and fitness to your recovery journey can strengthen your relapse prevention skills, helping you stay sober from marijuana addiction long-term. To learn more or seek treatment, reach out to us at West Coast Recovery Centers today.
Addiction treatment does not only require clinical interventions and recovery programs. It requires you to make lifestyle changes and live an overall healthier life. That may include deciding to cook more nutritious foods or attend therapy on a bi-weekly basis. However, adding exercise and fitness into your weekly routines can also help you stay sober longer. Marijuana addiction can be difficult to recover from because of its acceptance throughout society today. However, exercise and fitness reduce withdrawal symptoms, distract you from cravings, and help you manage underlying mental health symptoms leading to your marijuana use. Call West Coast Recovery Centers at (760) 492-6509 to learn more about the benefits of exercise and fitness or seek treatment for marijuana addiction today.