Today we have a guest blogger! This post comes to us from Constance, who is affiliated with Recovery Well. Take a few minutes to read her words, visit the Recovery Well site, and please leave your comments below!
“Getting sober was not an easy thing to do. It took a lot of effort from you, your loved ones, and professionals. While you probably hit a rough patch along your addiction recovery journey, you finally got sober — and you want to stay that way so you can be healthier and remain in control.
Besides getting better friends and avoiding places that enabled your addition, you can support your sobriety by getting physically fit. Working on your diet and exercise routines can help you stay strong and make the right decisions. Before you start heading on long hikes or buying gym memberships, why does fitness matter for your sobriety?
Why Your Fitness Matters
As you have already learned, addiction is a disease. It’s not simply a matter of willpower or making better choices. That’s why fitness works for any people in addiction recovery — they effectively replace the bad addiction with one to exercise and the endorphins it releases. In other words, you can avoid relapses by getting “addicted” to physical activity. It’s not a true addiction, of course, but it can do wonders for your health.
In fact, DrugAbuse.gov explains that studies show physical activity increases your resistance to addiction. Some of that is a form of “reverse” peer pressure where the friends you make playing sports and being active support your sobriety. But there is evidence that the exercise itself helps protect you from a relapse.
Exercise Tips That Help
But what kind of exercise should you focus on? To some extent, that depends on what you like to do. If you love watching NBA games, go out and play some basketball. If meditation is fun for you, explore a more active version with tai chi or yoga.
However, Blackmores shows that some exercises are particularly good at helping your mind as well as your body. And when your mental state is good, you are more likely to stay sober. Swimming is particularly good because it works both muscles and cardiovascular health. Cycling, tennis, and yoga all improve your health while not hurting your joints. Running and weightlifting might be very different, but they are both excellent for supporting your health and addiction recovery.
Gym memberships are also good, but there’s often a less-expensive option: Getting outdoors.
Getting Outside Is Worth It
Remember that people evolved in nature. Taking time to get some exercise outdoors can be very enjoyable, never mind good for your addiction recovery efforts. In Pennsylvania, there are a wide variety of places to enjoy.
Two great examples are the Phipps Conservatory and Hickory Run State Park. At the Phipps Conservatory, you can try your hand at yoga in a stimulating environment. Meanwhile, you can enjoy a fun hike at Hickory Run State Park. And studies show that returning to nature can help lift your spirits and improve your physical health.
There are plenty of other options for Pennsylvanians as well. The nearby Pocono Mountains are great for hiking, whereas the beaches at Lake Erie offer swimming and family fun.
Stay Fit To Stay Sober
Addiction recovery is not an event. It’s a journey that requires help and support. That’s why you need to focus on your own fitness. Regular exercise and a healthy diet can support your sobriety, so go outdoors for a nice hike, bike ride, and more. You’re in control of your life again, so make the right decisions for your long-term health.”