Fitness and wellness in addiction recovery are incredibly important in order to keep someone moving towards a healthy lifestyle, both mentally and physically. There are many benefits of exercising while recovering from addiction, from self-confidence to stress relief. Depending on one’s own routine, the coronavirus may have compromised a number of usual outlets that someone may have been using to keep physically active. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t options available for someone to continue exercising during their recovery. Below are some exercises that someone can practice even during socially isolated times in order to keep active, and to help continue practicing healthy lifestyles for those in recovery from addiction.
The Importance of Nutrition and Exercise for Wellness in Recovery
Physical exercise holds many advantages for someone in recovery from addiction. Physical activity importance for addiction recovery is more than just getting outside and keeping distracted, though that certainly is one component. Exercising in recovery is an amazing stress reliever, as someone’s pent up energies then have an outlet for safe expression. During lockdown due to coronavirus, as well as the natural trials of going through the recovery process, there is no shortage of stresses in recovery. Finding an exercise that works for you can provide a needed outlet for someone’s physical needs, as well as providing a mental outlet as well.
Exercise also helps someone begin to regain control over their own emotional state. Exercise also releases chemicals that make the body feel good – a process that may have been previously hijacked by an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Not only does this improve someone’s own self-esteem and self-image, but it also puts the agency of one’s happiness back into their own hands, and can help provide the first semblance of control that someone has over their own happiness. Recovery from addiction and exercise go hand-in-hand, and they work together to create a new, healthy lifestyle that is coupled with the proper nutrition and balanced diet necessary to continue healthy living.
Finding an Exercise that Works for You
What activities help deal with addiction will differ from person to person, and each person may have to experiment with a few different physical activities until they find the right one for them.
During the far-reaching isolation and closings that coronavirus has forced upon people, however, their usual methods of exercise may not be available. Sports clubs aren’t meeting up for matches, and gyms may be closed. However, there are still addiction recovery exercises that can be done from one’s own home, or in a safe way, distant from other people.
Walking and jogging are typically the most available forms of exercise for most people, as it requires no equipment other than a pair of shoes. Due to this freedom, each person is allowed to choose their own jogging paths, and can even couple it with their own music therapy or listening to their own podcasts or favorite bands while exercising. It is a time where someone can detach from the world and instead, begin to engage in their own self-care while still remaining physically active. Walking and jogging are useful for their accessibility, as well as being able to be done alone, or even on a dedicated hiking path where someone can be alone with their own music, while remaining active, as well as effectively socially distanced from others.
Cycling holds many similarities to walking and jogging, as it is able to be formed to someone’s own resources, except also requiring someone to have access to a bicycle. However, this does give someone the ability to cover more ground for their time and create more personal and extensive cycling paths for them to explore. All of this can still be accomplished while still listening to their music or podcasts, and is still available to be done while effectively socially distancing. Some hiking trails are even bike-friendly and can add to the options available to someone for their own biking paths.
Yoga requires nothing more than some open space in a room in someone’s house. Seeing as many are confined to their own living spaces due to the effects of coronavirus, setting up a dedicated yoga space can be incredibly beneficial. Yoga is something that can be taken at someone’s own pace, and as such, is accessible at all levels. Yoga also provides someone with a more personally reflective environment, allowing someone to keep their bodies moving while also exercising and analyzing their own mental state. Yoga’s meditative properties can help someone process their own daily stresses alongside their physical health, and can help create a holistic style of recovery. The benefits of exercising while recovering from an addiction using yoga are multi-faceted, allowing someone to approach their own personal hurdles in addiction recovery at their own pace, but with a holistic, healing mindset.
While listing video games as an outlet for physical exercise may take some by surprise, there are a number of games available for various systems that emphasize physical health. Ubisoft’s Just Dance series is a game that encourages movement by having someone match the dance moves on the screen to popular songs using motion controls, and is available on all major consoles. Fitness games, such as Wii Fit, on the Nintendo Wii, and Ring Fit Adventure for the Nintendo Switch are other titles that have pre-determined exercises available for someone to exercise various parts of their body, as well as help them keep track of their progress. There are also a number of apps available for smartphones that can help someone organize their own home exercise routines. While video games are often thought of as things that someone does while sitting down for hours on end, there are a number of fitness and exercise programs available for all major consoles that require someone to do just the opposite – get up and get moving. All from the comfort of someone’s own living room.
There are various addiction recovery exercises that will work for different people. While some will find success in having their own gym equipment at home, there are still a number of other ways in which someone can keep their bodies physically active, even while gyms may remain closed, and pools remain unavailable. Physical exercise is paramount in addiction recovery, and the trials of coronavirus make them more difficult and more important at the same time. However, there is never a shortage of options for keeping the body moving to help alleviate the stress that comes with recovery from an addiction of any kind.