5 reasons why exercise is a necessity in recovery.
Once we have decided to remove ourselves from a destructive relationship or habit we are left with a void. If we aren't careful this hole will mole deeper into our soul. Often the stress is higher than before. We've stepped onto the floor of uncertainty. The past was familiar and the present is a stranger. Worse yet, we are at many times, bored. We spent much of our movement motivated by our other half. That person or addiction that consumed us to the point of facelessness. Now we are staring into empty blocks of time with this insidious question. "Now what."
The first necessity I referred to in my blog The Detox is exercise. Why is this the first necessity? Well...If we aren't careful with this time it will leave us alone with our own thoughts. The enemy within will begin using our own insecurities against us. The best thing I did during and after rehab was work out. I stayed busy. There are many benefits to exercise other than filling time. Here are a few.
High intensity interval training. As you can see being physically active is something all of us can benefit from. Especially us addicts. Notice that high-intensity intervals help with cravings and addiction. While I was in rehab I was introduced to Crossfit and fell in love. When I was released I found a great group of people at Crossfit740 in Lancaster, Ohio. Instantly I had new friends. I was honest with everyone and they welcomed me openly. The community is amazing. As long as you have a good Coach running the gym (box is crossfit terminology) it's an incredible option. Community is a huge deal.
You can do your own interval training at home or at your local gym. The set up is in linking exercises together. Try 5 push Ups 10 sit ups and 15 squats for 10 minutes. Do as many rounds as possible and tell me how you feel. There are a ton of sites to get workouts from as well like Wodwell and Bodbot. They both have TONS of workouts you can choose from.
Lifting weights. Our ability to accurately reason with life, and rational thinking, help us maintain not only a positive outlook, but also recognize when an idea is irrational. Life is full of problems. Thinking logically and rational is required to navigate to the best answers. Getting bigger and stronger by lifting weights gives us confidence and also helps us link extended effort to delayed results which is opposite from our tendencies to immediate gratification.
A couple websites to check out include bodybuilding.com. and Stronglifts 5x5. There are a ton of articles, training plans and information on supplements on bodybuiding.com, and it is a well established company.
I've used the stronglifts program in the past, and it's great to use for gaining strength using compound exercises like squats, bench press, dead lift, bent row, and strict press.
Sports Drills. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only person who struggles with focus. Man I was trying to clean yesterday and I literally yelled out loud at my self at least five times "Focus Eric!" to help keep myself on task! This is one area I could incorporate more into my training! A great site I use is Stack. They have all kinds of different cone drills, ladder drills and more, to use in your training.
Aerobic Exercise. Running. It's funny that I literally noticed my memory improve while building my aerobic base. I started school and decided to give this a shot. It's a great way to enjoy nature, and as long you aren't tempted to "run back" somewhere, it has a ton of health benefits. From heart health, to burning fat, to more energy by using oxygen more efficiently. If you want to take up running and have never really ran before sign up for a 5k. Find a running group using Strava, MapMyRun or c25kfree. They all offer free options or you can pay for them for added features.
Yoga. Often after we "make our return" we are confronted with a realization that these emotions are NUTS!!! Oh my gosh. Find a little peace with yoga. It is great to help ease your mind, increase range of motion and develop insane strength! Yoga with Adriene has an insane amount of free content. Or definitely check out a studio near you.
I know there is a lot here. Try all of them. Find what clicks for you. You might like a little of all of them. Remember the results aren't immediate. The longer you go to a class the easier it is to have a meaningful bond with the other people who attend. It takes time before we will understand the movements, exercises and the culture. Soon enough that initial awkwardness some people might feel disappears.
New chapters of our stories are turning page by page. Each new letter being written is on a blank spot on our paper. Soon all the letters make words, the words, sentences, and sooner than later a new chapter has been written. Looking back into the new portion of our story things make much more sense. As Steve Jobs said "You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future."
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Be addicted to Life.