When you’re a sobering addict on the mend, looking to sustain long-term, permanent sobriety, you’ll need a physical outlet to complement your mind-based therapy. Whether you engage in sports or hit the gym, Rehab Guide notes that exercise can do wonders for helping you stay on the right track. But if you haven’t been exercising for a while, you may be rather intimidated by the whole process of starting and finding an exercise routine that works for you.
Presented in today’s Juke Fitness Equipment blog post, here are some tips on how to do just that – starting and maintaining a healthy, active routine:
Start with Simple Walks
To get your body used to the natural highs of exercising – it’s been proven that exercise boosts mood and productivity and helps prevent depression – start by walking briskly round the park or your neighborhood. The operative word here is “briskly” – a slow, meandering kind of walk is the opposite of what you should be doing. Instead, “power walking,” that is, quickly walking with a sure step and sense of purpose, is the best kind of walking to get your circulation going.
Which Kind of Exercises Appeal to You?
Once you’ve been briskly walking for a while, it’s time to challenge your body to an exercise routine that fits your interests and personality. After all, if you find weightlifting to be a boring way to get fit physically, then you won’t find yourself doing it for long. Start by asking yourself: what do I most enjoy watching on television when it comes to sports? During the Olympics, for example, do you watch the discus throwers avidly? The long-distance running contests? The swimmers?
Here is where a bit of research would do you well. Study the typical body types of the athletes you see at the Olympics. Are you tall and lithe? Then maybe pole vaulting would come naturally to you. Do your big, big feet bend easily? Then maybe swimming the butterfly stroke or any other kind of stroke in the pool would be a good fit for you. (Big, pliable feet make for a good “fin-like” body asset.)
Of course, you’d have to get into shape to approach the healthful body types of Olympian athletes, but that will come with time. The first step is just comparing your body type with those of professional athletes to get a notion of what would come easy for you. Even if you’re corpulent and broad-shouldered, there is a sport for you (such as wrestling or even, again, discus throwing).
Practicing a real sport is more challenging to the mind than the more basic exercise activities you’d find at the local gym. As a recovering addict, you need something new and healthy to focus your attention on. In this way, higher-level sports can pose a real challenge for both your mind and body – in the best way possible.
Alternatively, if going solo in your exercise endeavors doesn’t appeal to you because you feel you lack the discipline to stick with the routine on a consistent basis, then sign up for a team sport such as touch football or soccer. Sure, it will take some time to get to know your peers, to mesh in well with their personalities “on the pitch” while re-discovering your own (sober) personality, but it will all pay off major dividends in the end, as you foment a spirit of dedication and responsibility to your teammates.
You’ll be less likely to drop out of games, or miss practice, when you build a genuine bond with your fellow peers. Concerned after-game alcohol may get in the way? Consider joining a team with more than one recovering addict in it, so that the vibe of the team is to always celebrate every point, goal or victory with an alcohol-free cheer (the rest of the team will understand).
Many exercises can be done effectively with just your body weight, but having a few quality pieces of workout equipment and tools from Juke Fitness Equipment can enhance your workout routine. For example, if you’ll be following along to a workout video on your phone, a stand can prop up your device and help you see the video more clearly. If you’re going to be practicing yoga, you’ll want a high-quality yoga mat for better grip and stability when practicing poses. And, you can’t go wrong with a set of dumbbells, which will help you better target various muscle groups during your workouts. Also, good news: in addition to improving your health, setting up a home gym can also boost the appraisal value of your home!
A Final Thought
Getting hooked on getting healthier by practicing a sport is a solid way to get you on track to long-term sobriety. If anger management has ever been an issue, playing a sport will do a lot to take off your edge as you spend your “angry” emotional energy on how the game you’re playing is faring for you.
Gesticulations, and expressions of anger on the pitch, actually tone down your anger in other areas of your life, by subconsciously allowing you to vent your frustrations in healthy ways. This is why exercise and sport are wonderful at helping you sever the causal relationship between anger and addiction, a relationship you no longer want dominating your life.