If you are in the midst of early recovery, paying attention to your health and fitness is important because of the physical impact addiction has on the body. While there are some treatment centers that provide a health and fitness analysis, those not offered that kind of treatment and are left wondering what to do.
Where to Begin an Exercise Program
You'll want to start by visiting a physician. She can assess your overall health and give you recommendations on starting a fitness regimen. Because people who struggle with addiction may suffer from multiple addictions - food, caffeine, nicotine, sugar, etc. - it's important to discuss how these might impact your fitness plan.
Walking is a good way to begin getting into shape. Improving one's breathing capability and heart rate is optimal for everyone, but especially those who have been doing little physical activity and are feeling the discomfort of early recovery. The human body will go through many side effects during the process of recovery, but the early days will sometimes be acutely uncomfortable.
Obviously, the first days of withdrawal from medications and alcohol will be closely monitored by the agency they are in, or in a hospital setting, or by their family doctor. Medical assistance is highly recommended for withdrawal from substance use. At the point where the body is free from the effects of early withdrawal and is healthy enough to participate in an activity of a physical nature, walking is a good way to calm the nerves. As you heal mentally and physically, walking will give you a more positive outlook. If walking outdoors, the sunshine and fresh air are bound to increase feelings of well-being and happiness.
Remember to Breathe
Learning to breathe, as in a yoga setting, will also enhance early recovery. Toxins have been eliminated from the body and breathing deeply continues the cleansing process. Stretching and easy yoga poses are also good for helping to further cleanse the liver, kidneys, lungs, and other vital organs after the detoxification process is complete. Most will feel more confident and energized by a simple stretching routine as found in beginning yoga classes.
Start Small and Build
The challenge for many people who struggle with addiction, who can often be classified as "all or nothing" types, is to moderately exercise. They will start out with a routine that is far too taxing for them, then fail to continue when they injure themselves or feel pain in muscles not used properly for some time. It is important to begin with small amounts of beneficial exercise and to grow from there. Do not start by running a marathon. Just a short walk around the block and a few minutes of yoga breathing and stretching will start you on your way.