By now, you likely know that there are numerous benefits of exercise in addiction recovery. To recap: Physical activity activates the brain’s “pleasure circuit,” reducing substance cravings and boosting your mood. It also helps your body rebound from the damage of substance misuse and reduces your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other health conditions.
But knowing how good exercise is for you doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be motivated to move. Starting and sticking to a fitness routine is tough, especially when you’re also trying to get a handle on your recovery. These simple strategies can help.
- Reframe your thinking. If the gym just isn’t for you right now, try finding more ways to move throughout the day. Fitness can mean any type of physical activity, from taking the stairs to cleaning the house to gardening.
- Plot it out. Having a workout plan can help you stick to your routine. But it’s also important to be flexible and willing to shuffle this schedule, if, say, you’re not feeling up to it or are faced with an unexpected work event.
- Track your moves. Jot down what you did and for how long (including chores) and add it up at the end of each day. You might also want to note how the movement made you feel; for example, energetic, relaxed, limber. Documenting your progress will help strengthen your motivation.
- Make a date. Whether you plan a morning walk with a friend or sign up for a yoga class, setting an appointment will keep you accountable.
Finding Fitness Motivation
The best form of fitness during addiction recovery is the kind that motivates you and includes a mix of social, heart-healthy, and meditative recreation. The Haven at Pismo helps you develop an exercise program tailored to your health needs, lifestyle preferences, and addiction history. To learn more, call: 805-202-3440.