Early recovery is the perfect time to get up and get going. Why? Because it will help your brain and your body.
Exercise is a really great way to tell yourself and your body, "Hey, I'm going to take care of you now."
– Chrissy Taylor, mother, recovered addict, Director of Counseling at Workit Health
I love to work out and have done it regularly for the past 15 years. Even when I skipped out on other self-care, exercise was usually (sometimes lazily), a part of my life. Here’s the good exercise has done for me:
1. Exercise helps me manage my stress and anxiety. I have done to many kickboxing class visualizing some person or situation that I am air punching the crap out of.
2. I feel better about myself when I work out.
3. There is no better shower than the post-workout shower.
4. Fitness journeys evolve. I was once a cardio-bunny, then a runner, then a weight lifter. Right now I am really into fitness classes and my spin bike.
If you are in early recovery, just putting your shoes on the right feet might be a challenge, but make exercise (however small) a priority. The science stands behind it. Exercise helps your brain and body balance itself back out. This is exactly what you need.
You can make exercise whatever you want, and as big or small as you can handle. Don’t do yoga if you don’t like it, and if running hurts your knees then skip it. Find something you want to do, whether it’s a walk in the park or a YouTube dance video, and then do it.
Chrissy Taylor is a clinician with over a decade's worth of experience working with various disempowered populations to promote self-efficacy and resource acquirement.