Incorporating physical activity into a regular routine is essential to facilitate health and sobriety. While it’s important for every person to do, it’s even more important for someone trying to maintain a long-term recovery from addiction. When someone is working on maintaining sobriety the process involves strengthening themselves physically and mentally. The body has already been weakened and is used to being abused, and physical activity helps the body become healthy and strong again. Many people now take the holistic approach to sobriety, and that means finding balance in their life, which involves integrating physical activities that help calm the mind and keep the body active. Here are 5 physical activities that benefit health and sobriety.
One: Walking Or Running
One of the simplest and most effective physical exercises that people can do is walking, or running if they feel like they are already in good shape. The great thing about walking is that it can be done by anyone no matter where they are located. It’s free and doesn’t need any equipment or require any training. People can also vary the location of their walks, such as hiking on a nature trail or forest. Besides keeping a person in shape, it will lower the risk of heart disease and will help clear the mind. And when someone gets into the regular routine of walking, it helps add structure into their lives.
Yoga has been noted as being particularly effective in helping break the addiction patterns that the brain forms. Yoga increases body awareness and helps a recovering addict connect with the body in a more intimate way, through breathing and guided exercises. Yoga can help someone learn how to manage their emotional stasis and discover how strong and powerful their body actually is.
Three: Painting Or Drawing
In this day and age, when most people are glued to their smartphone or tablet, the physical act of drawing and painting can be incredibly therapeutic. The value of using one’s hands to create something is underrated and can have a calming and healing effect on a person. When someone in recovery paints or draws it’s not about creating the finished piece, but accessing the creative and happy part of the mind that probably had previously been lying dormant.
Four: Building Something
Likewise building something can help stimulate the mind in a way that it hasn’t been before. And it doesn’t have to be, and probably shouldn’t be complicated, unless someone has previous experience. It can be as simple as building a wall hanging or folding origami or constructing a simple piece of furniture, but the act of building something creates an innate sense of satisfaction and helps build self-esteem. And in a more abstract sense, building something can even mean planting a garden or landscaping a yard. Overall it means just putting time and energy into a project and creating something.
If someone is lucky enough to be near water, whether a public pool or beach, then swimming is an amazing physical activity to take part in. Easier on the body than almost any other form of exercise, it nonetheless has great cardiovascular benefits, and helps a person feel stronger and happier. Being in the water is always an enjoyable and satisfying workout, where a person utilizes all parts of the body during swimming. And like walking or yoga, regularly scheduling swimming sessions will help add structure to a person’s life. And by incorporating exercise on a regular basis, over the long-term the individual will look better, and be stronger mentally and emotionally. Exercise is an essential part of finding a holistic balance in one’s life. People can learn to interact with their bodies in kind, compassionate, and nurturing ways.
photo credit: Alexandra Huang