“The difference between Try and Triumph is a little UMPH.”
– Marvin Philips
Becoming physically active is one of the most beneficial decisions a person in recovery can make. When someone becomes addicted, dependent on drugs and alcohol to make it through their everyday life, the BODY (the circulatory, digestive, endocrine, muscular system,), the MIND (your decision-making skills, learning ability, goal setting, emotional health,) and the SPIRIT (the sense of feeling connected to something greater than yourself) become rewired thus wreaking havoc on their well-being. Fortunately, addiction is a treatable disease and there is MUCH hope. We at Serenity Light Recovery, believe in the healing powers of fitness and exercise; so much so, that we offer not only client fitness classes but also staff boot camp and yoga classes multiple times a week. Our team recognizes how important exercise is for our mind, body, and spirit.
Let’s get some facts:
Exercising regularly helps reduce stress by increasing concentrations of norepinephrine- a chemical produced by the body that helps moderate cortisol/stress levels. Stress builds up in our bodies constantly throughout the day; while we are driving, at work, studying or even watching t.v. Stress can come from a wide range of things; from poor posture to upsetting interactions and both recent and past trauma. Exercising gives stress a healthy outlet to escape. It is widely recognized that high levels of stress is the number one cause of relapse after a period of recovery. For this reason, we feel it is imperative we incorporate healthy ways to rid the body of this tension.
If you’ve seen Legally Blonde you know that “exercise releases endorphins and endorphins make you happy!” A vigorous exercise can cause the release of endorphins and endocannabinoids, which together create feelings of happiness and euphoria, making it easier to cope with daily life in recovery.
Getting active improves your self-confidence. Regardless of what you look or feel like, exercise can quickly elevate a person’s perception of his/her self-worth and confidence. Like anything else in life, the more you do it the better you get and the better you feel. Exercising teaches you to set attainable goals, work towards those goals and ultimately accomplish them.
There are so many reasons to add daily exercise to your routine. All you need is 30 minutes of physical activity to elevate your mood, release stress, and re-center your mind giving your brain the boost it needs to power through the day. Think about it this way, 30 minutes is only 2.1% of a 24-hour day, when you put like this, there really are no excuses. Physical activity comes in many, MANY different forms. You can take a power walk early in the morning through the neighborhood, participate in continuous sets of body weight exercises in your living room, hit the gym and lift weights and/or build your cardiovascular strength by jumping on the elliptical or even going for a cool swim.
Additionally, taking your exercise routine outdoors can lessen the likelihood of experiencing depression or anxiety symptoms with an added boost of vitamin D. So, get outside and move, breathe deep and soak up some healing sunshine. Have fun with your exercise routine! Dress up in all 80’s clothes and take that fun Zumba class you’ve heard about with a buddy, laugh and dance your heart out. Invite a group of friends to the new yoga studio, creating a lasting bond while exercising and practicing in the art of meditation and surrender.
If you are just starting out and feel overwhelmed or perhaps you have special limitations, I highly recommend you reach out to a reputable certified personal trainer. A personal trainer is an invaluable resource in reaching your fitness and even life goals. A certified personal trainer will teach you proper exercise movement and form, help you understand the importance of consistency and create a fitness plan tailored specifically to your needs, they will also encourage, coach and motivate you every step of the way on your journey to excellence.
It’s so helpful to create a fitness tribe full of friends who want the best for you, a group of like-minded people who want to help you stay accountable to your goals and dreams! Similarly to 12 step programs, this fellowship improves outcomes, gives people a sense of purpose, and creates a bond. Don’t be afraid, if you don’t feel like much of an athlete start small, with a simple 10 or 15-minute daily walk, increasing your progress as you feel ready. Do your best to stay committed to your new fitness routine because YOU DESERVE TO THRIVE IN ALL YOU DO! Now get up, take a deep breath, smile and move!!! YOU GOT THIS!