Everyone has a different opinion about exercise. You might be someone who was pushed too far by their coach in gym class, and now you abhor having to do anything that makes you break a sweat. Or, you might be a gym rat who can’t imagine what life would be like if you had to take a break for even a single day.
Asking if you should exercise during recovery gives you a starting point for figuring out how to blend your feelings about working out with your body’s health needs. In most cases, you’ll find that exercise is often included in recovery plans because of the many benefits that being active has for helping you to stay sober.
Similar to other aspects of your recovery plan, your exercise routine should be tailored to fit your personal goals. If you haven’t actively been working out for a while, then you’ll want to start off slowly with exercises that are designed to fit your fitness level. Walking, swimming and other forms of low-impact exercise tend to feel the best for people who have mostly been sedentary. If you’ve been working out regularly, then you might be able to stick to your current routine or even enhance it now that you are sober.
Explore How Exercise Benefits Your Recovery
There’s more than one reason why you’ll see exercise used in recovery programs. Working out provides you with these benefits that can help you to avoid having a relapse.
- improve your sleep patterns
- find a wholesome way to fill your time
- help your body rebuild for better health
- discover a natural form of stress relief
- meet new people who value good health
Exercise stimulates the release of endorphins that help to improve your mood. You’ll also find that spending time working up a sweat helps your body to manage the symptoms of depression and anxiety. During your recovery, you’ll see that accomplishing your workout goals gives you more confidence that infuses the rest of your therapy sessions with positivity.
Find an Exercise Program That Works for You
There are so many different types of exercise programs available that there truly is something out there for everyone. Many addiction treatment programs include yoga in workout plans because the poses are easily modifiable, and you can do them anywhere. Yoga also works well with deep breathing exercises that can help you to stay calm.
Strength training workouts are also common in recovery programs. Many sober living homes have weight sets available that you can use to develop stronger muscles. You may also find sports activities available, such as basketball, that are designed to help you keep your body moving while enjoying some sober social opportunities. Try to keep an open mind about the different types of exercise you encounter, and feel free to give them all a try. Eventually, you’ll find a set of different exercise options that you can mix up from one day to the next to give yourself a total body workout.
Stay Motivated for Sticking to Your Routine
Starting an exercise program off strong is great, and you can use your excitement as momentum to keep you going. However, it is fairly common to suddenly feel your motivation drop off once you start working out regularly. You can avoid hitting a slump by making a plan to head off problems before they start. For instance, planning a few indoor workouts can help you stay on track if the weather turns cold or rainy. You can also choose a sober friend to be your accountability partner.
Encouraging each other to get up and go work out can help you bond, and you’ll both be healthier for it. You’ll also want to include exercise as an element of your normal daily routine. Depending upon your schedule, you might want to do a few yoga poses when you first wake up or go for a walk after dinner. Making your workouts a natural habit that falls into your daily routine makes it easier to miss doing them if you decide to skip a day.
As a final note, just look for ways to stay more active. Going hiking, bike riding and even roller skating are all great ways to increase your daily movements while also having a good time with your new friends. Are you wondering what else you can do to improve your recovery? Give us a call today at 866-963-7200. We’ve got tons of ideas to share.