If you’ve completed treatment for drug or alcohol addiction, you’ve taken a major step on the path to a healthy new life. Some of the real challenges may still lie ahead—that’s why addiction treatment experts often describe recovery as a lifelong process. You can strengthen your recovery in a number of ways, including staying active, taking care of your health and developing supportive relationships.
One simple but powerful way to keep your recovery on track is by participating in community or team sports. In this article, we’ll talk about the benefits of team activities and how they can improve your chances of long-term sobriety.
Using Fitness to Stay Sober Through Team Sports
There’s no denying the importance of exercise and fitness in recovery. Physical activity is proven to work as a natural stress reliever, triggering the release of “feel-good” endorphins and helping you forget your daily tensions.1
Fitness also has a positive impact on your brain chemistry. Addiction can cause chemical imbalances in the brain that make it difficult to feel happiness or pleasure; however, regular exercise can help regulate your brain chemistry and heal the damage done by substance abuse. Even if you’re not able to get to the gym frequently, participating in community or team sports will help you fit in a good workout at least once or twice a week.
The Power of Teamwork
Shooting hoops with friends or joining a community softball team provides more than just physical activity. These team activities foster a level of camaraderie that can be a real game-changer for people in recovery.
Developing new friendships that don’t center around drinking or using drugs makes it easier for people in recovery to add fulfillment into their lives. Additionally, relationships formed on a team can help enrich your support network and reduce your risk of relapse.
Finding New Passions
Even if you haven’t played a team sport since you were a child, there’s no need to shy away from these activities today. Recovery gives you the opportunity to rekindle old passions, but it also offers the chance to step out of your comfort zone and discover new sides of yourself that you never knew existed. Why not sign up for that local softball team or basketball league? There’s no downside to trying a new activity, and the benefits of community and team sports make the initial effort worthwhile.
Team activities can help strengthen your recovery in a number of ways. The physical activity involved in team sports can help prevent relapse, and the relationships developed on and off the field can provide valuable support.2 Recovery can be challenging at times, and the feeling of belonging to a team provides the kind of camaraderie that can help you through the toughest of times. Combined with other recovery resources such as support groups and 12-step programs, a community or team sport may be just what you need to strengthen your recovery and take care of your body and mind.