For many people, recovery is a long road that comes with a lot of bumps along the way. Because there are so many causes for substance abuse addiction — and because mental health issues like depression, stress, and anxiety can contribute to it — it’s important to remember that there is no one right way to get your body and mind back to a healthy place. Recovery is very much about your specific needs, which is why daily exercise can be so helpful.

Working out every day doesn’t just keep your body fit. It also allows you to clear your mind, relieve stress and tension, and enjoy yourself in an activity of your choosing, and there are many apps and tutorials available that can help with your routine. Some types of exercise also allow you to practice mindfulness — or focusing on the present — which alleviates anxiety and calms you after a long day. Regular exercise can help promote substance prevention and help you find a way back to a healthy life after a difficult struggle.

Check In with Your Doctor

If you’re just starting out with exercising, it’s a good idea to first ask your doctor about which workouts are acceptable for you. Your doctor will likely ask you about any symptoms you’re experiencing and perform an exam to address the possibility of any underlying health conditions. If you’re a senior, it’s very important that you get a wellness exam for personalized preventive care. Seniors with Medicare Advantage are not only covered for an annual wellness check, but those with a Humana Advantage plan may also have access to the SilverSneakers program. This program offers free fitness memberships and classes at over 13,000 locations, making it a convenient healthcare benefit for seniors to get in shape.

Increase Your Energy

Many individuals who are in recovery have trouble finding the energy to stay active, especially if they are still living with the symptoms of depression. Mood disorders can have a negative effect on your ability to stay sober, so it’s important to find different ways to banish those symptoms in the moment. Exercise is a great way to do that, and once you get up and get moving, you’ll be able to find the motivation again and again.

Make New Connections

Making connections is important during recovery. Some individuals find it extremely hard to reconnect with old friends because they don’t want to revisit their “old life.” Others have dealt with the negative effects of substance abuse on their relationships and aren’t sure how to repair those fractures. Finding a new social circle can be hugely beneficial; start with an activity or place you enjoy and work your way out from there. A coffee shop, a bookstore, or the gym are wonderful places to start.

Take a Break

Daily exercise allows you to take a little break from the world for a bit and zone out, which can actually increase your productivity and help you relax. Many people find that getting in a workout during their lunch break helps them get through the rest of the day, so go for a walk around the block, bring your yoga mat, or run up and down the stairs in your office building. You don’t have to spend your entire lunch hour exercising; 15 or 20 minutes is great.

Build Up Your Strength

Building up strong bones and muscles is important after a period of substance abuse. Getting your body back into shape can help you feel better about yourself and will keep you motivated to stay healthy. You don’t have to join an expensive gym to do this; go for a resistance band, some 10-pound free weights, and a stability ball. These can be used in the comfort of your own home and don’t require any special skills.

Stay Motivated with a Fitness Tracker

If you’re going to work out at home, you can take advantage of the many fitness-related YouTube tutorials and apps that are available. There are apps for almost any activity, whether you’re practicing yoga or lifting weights. If you’re going to be downloading and running many different apps, be sure your smartphone can handle the workload. If not, it may be the right time to pick up a newer model that can perform better. For instance, if you’re currently using an iPhone, the new iPhone 11 Pro Max is a high-powered model with the fastest chip available, and it has up to 18 hours of usage time. Or if you’re an Android user, the One Plus 7 Pro has a speedy processor and fast charging.

Of course, many people thrive in social environments when they work out, though you don’t necessarily have to limit yourself to a traditional gym. For example, you could sign up for tai chi lessons, take part in team sports in your neighborhood, or go for something a little off the beaten path.

Exercise is great for you in so many ways. You may find a routine you enjoy so much you’ll want to continue it for years to come, or you might decide to change things up a bit so you don’t get bored. Get a friend involved to help you stay motivated, and look for activities that you already enjoy — such as swimming or playing a sport — to make it fun. With a good plan, you can get healthy in no time.

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