Recovery & Exercise
Everyone needs to be physically active and get moving, but it’s especially important for individuals in addiction recovery to exercise to improve your emotional and physical well-being. Drugs and alcohol wreak havoc on your body and mind, and one of the most effective ways to repair the damage is with regular exercise. Our tips will help you facilitate your recovery with the right types of exercise to improve your physical and mental health and improve your overall well-being for the future.
1. Commit to Regular Exercise
As your recovery progresses, you will understand the importance of creating and sticking to a daily routine. To help yourself commit to regular exercise, you need to make time for it. That’s why it’s important to add regular exercise to your daily routine as soon as possible; the sooner you do, the more of a habit it will become and the sooner you can start reaping the benefits of it. According to Shape, you need to schedule your workouts just like you do time for work, family, friends and other responsibilities.
It’s also useful to set goals with your exercise so you have something to work toward and can see your progress. Try setting SMART goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound to achieve the most success. For example, commit to walking for 15 minutes for two weeks to eventually work up to 30 minutes of walking by the end of your first month. Or, commit to working out twice a week and gradually increase to working out four times a week in the first month.
2. Find a Workout that You Love
Of course, it’s much easier to commit to regular exercise and facilitate your recovery with it when you truly enjoy what you are doing. Finding the right workout is half the battle; it’s recommended that you start slowly, especially if you have been sedentary much of your adult life. Most people find that starting with walking is the easiest way to commit to exercise because it doesn’t require any equipment, can be done anywhere, and can be done any time. You can walk with your sponsor or a friend to help facilitate your recovery, too.
Another type of exercise that almost everyone enjoys is cardio workouts. Doctors also recommend cardio training because it promotes a healthy, strong heart and body. The initial goal is to get your heart pumping for at least 10 minutes, so you can take a dance fitness class, go for a bike ride, hike, or play with your dog or kids. Other fun cardio exercises include jumping rope, playing organized sports, swimming, boxing and bouncing on a trampoline. Strive for at least 30 minutes of cardio four to five times each week.
Strength training is another popular way to exercise. You can lift weights, but you also can do push-ups, pull-ups, squats, rock climbing, and aerial yoga to improve your strength. This type of exercise will help you maintain good health for the long term because it develops strong bones, helps you manage your weight, enhances your quality of life, helps you manage chronic conditions, and sharpens your thinking skills.
3. Include Yoga to Improve Your Mental Health
Yoga is an ideal way to facilitate your recovery with exercise because it promotes an integration of the mind, body, and spirit and makes you relax to relieve your anxiety, stress, and depression. You also learn how to have a positive relationship with physical sensations again when you practice yoga. The whole-body approach to addiction recovery is another way to maintain an all-around healthy routine for the long term.
If you’ve never done yoga before, don’t be intimidated. There are several beginners’ classes available at local gyms, fitness centers, and YMCAs. You also can search online for free yoga videos for beginners so you can exercise in the comfort of your home at a time that best suits your schedule.
To facilitate your addiction recovery, you need to prioritize your physical and mental health by committing to regular exercise. You also should experiment with different exercises until you find one that you love and can stick with for the long term. Then, be sure to add yoga to your routine to improve your mental health and lower your stress and anxiety levels.
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