For the man or woman who is battling an addiction or addictions, there are times where life can be downright depressing with little or no hope in front of them.
Whether it is just battling the addictions on their own or dealing with other issues such as a job loss, divorce, or the death of a close one too, sometimes the individual feels like there is no good news on the horizon.
With that in mind, there are ways to not only treat the addiction or addictions through medical and psychological help, but also via something that can be done literally 24/7 – exercise.
Yes, exercising when one is dealing with an addiction may seem like the last thing in the world they would want to do, but it can be beneficial on so many fronts.
So, how can someone in this position use exercise to their advantage in getting their life back on track?
Positive Mind and Body Can Make the Difference
In order to get the right movement therapies for addiction and exercise in general into your life, keep the following in mind:
- Start slow – So that you can put the right exercise regimen in place and not burn yourself out physically or mentally, start out slow. This is important on several fronts, but mostly in that you don’t want to get disappointed after only a few sessions, whether you are doing them with a professional trainer or on your own. Make sure for starters that you are medically cleared (talk to your doctor) to exercise several times a week. Once you have gotten the go-ahead, exercise just a couple of days a week. For example, if you decide to walk one mile or do 25 push-ups the first week, up that to 1.5 or 2 miles and 50 push-ups in a week or two. If you are properly pacing yourself (see more below), you will find both your body and your attitude will both be all the better for it;
- Comfort zone – Some people are comfortable working out in a gym with dozens or even hundreds of people around, while others like to do their regimens in a much smaller setting. Whichever works for you, make sure you are feeling comfortable when exercising. Attitude plays a large role in anything one does, including exercise. If you’ve been relatively shy for the majority of your life, working out in a gym full of people may not be the best answer. On the other hand, seeing others go through the daily grind of a workout may help inspire you at the same time;
- Helping hand – Many people who work out on a regular basis will tell you that having a workout buddy or two makes all the difference in the world. If you feel that you need one or more people with you in order to properly exercise, by all means don’t hesitate to ask for assistance. A workout partner can help push you on those days where you might just not be feeling it, allowing you to push through the rigors of exercising. It is also good to have a partner with you to talk to about daily life; perhaps even about the struggles you are going through with an addiction. The last thing you want to do when you have an addiction you are trying to overcome is to shut-off the outside world. If you don’t have a close friend or family member to exercise with, ask someone in a support group you might be in or even a stranger at the gym you might be going to to help you with getting in shape;
- Set goals – Last but not least, put forth some manageable goals in your efforts to get in shape and stay there. Remember that fighting and overcoming your addiction should always be your primary task at hand, but that doesn’t mean you can’t put yourself in better shape over time. The goal or goals you set need to be attainable, so don’t set out with unrealistic goals, only to leave you disappointed and potentially in more despair sooner rather than later. Monitor your goal settings and see how you are doing with them on a weekly basis.
Battling an addiction or addictions can be challenging, but adding exercise to your weekly routine can be one way to kick those addictions to the curb.