Sobriety is a very important part of your life. In fact, if you are like most people in recovery it is the cornerstone of your everyday life, down to each moment. You make it a priority and when your sobriety becomes threatened or triggers arise you may get tempted. But how many new things can you do to stay busy?
When meetings aren’t enough to support your sobriety working out is another way to keep a relapse off your mind. Not only that, but there are so many other benefits you can gain by making fitness a priority in your life. Not a fan of everyday workouts?
These 5 ways working out supports your sobriety may change your mind:
One -Body Repair
Most people that suffer with an addiction to drugs or alcohol also have health problems. That’s because the prolonged use of any of these substances can breakdown healthy cells throughout the body, increase risk of illness and even shorten your lifespan.
Any form of regular exercise is known to repair the body from much of the damage. This can include walking, running and trips to the gym but playing with your pet, stretching and even swimming are also fun ways to repair your body through exercise.
Two – Stress Relief
Let’s be honest … recovery is stressful. There can still be lingering withdrawal symptoms, temptation, anxiety and of course taking it one day at a time in your sobriety. Stress relief is a major part of enjoying your new sober lifestyle and exercise is one of the best-known stress relievers.
Three – Mood Booster
There’s no reason to live a boring life now that you are sober but you may need a few ideas on how to get that same euphoric feeling you had when you used. Exercise comes in many forms and some are so exhilarating you may think you are even high. But it’s ok!
Many body systems kick into overdrive when you do an intense workout that trigger changes in your brain chemistry to make you feel happy and even eutrophic. Commonly, this feeling is known as “runners high,” but many forms of working out can make you feel this way.
Four – Clearing The Mind
Your sobriety isn’t something that falls out of the sky into your hands. You have to make the effort to create it and maintain it. This can require that you travel into your mind doing the hard mental and emotional work of recovery.
You may need to take advantage of what some people call the “meditation in motion” of exercise. Able to clear the mind of anxious thoughts, any workout you do is a great way to feel more mentally energized and rejuvenated. This often makes sobriety more manageable and your recovery more enjoyable.
Five – Relapse Reducer
Improving your overall wellness is the #1 way to stay on track with a happy and healthy recovery. Remember that you made the decision to take those first steps but recovery is a road paved with self-care.
So, why not take it one step further and also support your physical body with regular exercise? You can do any workout you enjoy to boost your heart rate and gain health benefits thus only further reducing your risk of relapse.
What Kind of Workout Should I Do?
Oftentimes finding a fun recreational workout is the best way to look forward to fitness. So, try to find an exercise that you enjoy doing and keep going! Here are just a few ideas that many people in recovery have tried:
- Deep stretching
- Water boarding
- Hiking, walking & running outdoors
- Weight lifting
- Group fitness
- Team sports (basketball, soccer, baseball etc.)
You don’t have to take on one of these full-sized workouts every day. You can simply lace up your running shoes and walk up and down your favorite road just a few times to clear your mind and boost your health.
It’s a great time to practice a mantra that can help you stay focused on your recovery. Here is one you can use, “One day at a time.” If you notice your mind start to wander, simply repeat this mantra silently in your mind and bring your thoughts back to your sobriety. A 15-minute walk is all it takes to improve your mood and boost your overall health.
Talking to Your Doctor About Your Recovery
When you are walking the path to recovery it can never hurt to have more support. Friends, family, workout buddies and other people focused on health are all ideal members of your sober support system.
But don’t forget to include your doctor. They are the best person to discuss your lifestyle changes with as they can help you overcome the many physical challenges of sobriety.
Further, by talking to your doctor about your recovery plan you may also gain essential tools like fitness routines, diet tips and even fun ways to stay sober. They can also help you stay focused on your path to personal wellness so always remember to include a healthcare provider to reduce relapse.
Thanks for reading!