Exercise is essential for recovery. Exercise allows you to turn negative energy into positive energy, making you feel relaxed and stress-free even hours after a challenging workout. Since you have been home, you might have noticed that your pants don’t button exactly the same way they did before. This new version of the “freshman 15” is not only weighing on your body, but your mind and health as well.
You might think that being stagnant right now is the only option. Or to be honest, you might be using stay-at-home orders as an excuse to binge eat and skip working out. However, we know that the long-term effects of neglecting our health and failing to have structure in our life often lead to damaging outcomes for your recovery.
We Need Structure
With more free time comes more time to achieve goals — or more idle time to put things off altogether. A daily dose of exercise can help us reserve time in our day for improving our health, and help us keep some sort of structure in our lives. Exercise is a great way to pump energy and life into our daily schedule, especially if our work and social commitments are non-existent at the moment.
Exercise creates more energy, which leads to more motivation, more positivity, and more confidence. Exercise also provides results — when you see that “freshman 15” shrink or feel yourself growing stronger, it feels good. These visual and physical feelings of accomplishment will create more inspiration for you to approach each day with vigor and purpose.
Don’t Complicate Your Workout
Most of us have an idea of what exercise is and what we need to do to get in shape. This often involves a venue or equipment or a trainer. But thinking that you need the amenities of a full-fledged gym, where you might be lucky to name about 25% of the equipment, could be cause for defeat. Exercise comes in many different forms, and it is often the simple long-lasting workouts that deliver the best results.
You might not like doing them because they are not as interesting as getting onto some foreign-looking machine. But basic exercises like walking, jogging, push-ups, sit-ups, and squats can get a body in shape faster than most weights and machines. Furthermore, these kinds of workouts can be performed at home.
If you don’t have a gym and you don’t have any equipment, no problem. All you need is a living room and a little resourcefulness. If you cannot stay motivated to work out just doing the basics and need some variety, there are many affordable and free options. First, get yourself a kettlebell. A 25-lb kettlebell offers hundreds of different workouts that will challenge you and simultaneously get your heart rate up and your muscles working. The beauty of this is that a 25-lb kettlebell typically only costs $30.
Can’t afford a kettlebell? A gallon container of juice or tea makes a great substitute. The heavy plastic, wide handles, and strong fastening caps can turn a gallon container into a solid piece of exercise equipment. Fill the jug with water and/or sand. Since the jug has a low center of gravity, it will make a good substitute for a kettlebell, weighing anywhere from 15-30 pounds (depending on what you fill with it). A gallon of juice costs about $3.
Other household items can add variety and challenge to your workout. Use paper towels or Swiffer pads to add a layer of challenge to push-ups. A chair will allow you to perform dips and incline push-ups. There are plenty of options and no excuses.
Exercise is built on a foundation of getting comfortable in the uncomfortable. Each workout provides multiple micro-challenges that lead to multiple victories in a single session. These small victories not only build resilience but also build the confidence you need to get comfortable in the uncomfortable on a larger scale. Set goals within your workout and before you realize it, you will become stronger and stronger, both physically and mentally. If you are not certain if you are challenging yourself enough, don’t worry. The amount of sweat and trembling muscles will tell you all you need to know.
A Better Diet
When you begin to see results, you will begin to gain momentum. Due to the hard work that you are putting in, you are less likely to indulge in junk food or consider the thought of returning to your addictions. Therefore, you will make better dietary decisions, perhaps eating lean meats and salads throughout the week, and maybe treating yourself to junk food on the weekend. Most who begin to see results from their exercising efforts report that they begin eating healthier as well.
Heal Your Brain
If you still need a little push to get motivated, consider this — exercise helps heal the brain. The improved blood flow will increase the number of nerve connections in your brain and begin to heal the damaged nerves from when you were using. The cardiovascular response will benefit other parts of your body, boosting your immunity and lowering your risk of diabetes and cancer. Exercise also reduces stress and helps battle against bouts of anxiety and depression.
Get Started Today
Two of the most common excuses for not working out are “I’m too out of shape” or “I don’t have time.” You’re never too out of shape — you can find a workout that makes accommodations for past injuries, joint pain, or excess weight easily online. Yoga is another great workout that you can do at home if you’re just starting an exercise program.
You can’t use time as an excuse either, because you likely have more time now than you ever did. Seize this opportunity to improve your health. You don’t need to be a fitness expert — start with what you are capable of doing and build upon that. You just have to motivate yourself to take that first step.
Exercise in recovery is essential. You are never too old, too out of shape, or too limited to exercise. Even the simple act of walking counts as exercise. Don’t limit or restrict yourself — you have what it takes.
True Recovery believes the best in their patients and we are determined to find the right treatment to help you discover the best in yourself. We can show you the way. To learn more, call us today at (866) 399-6528.