I believe in a world where people don’t have to trade one harmful addiction for another. It’s the status quo to many of those in the sober community, trading out drugs and alcohol for sweets, nicotine, or other unhealthy cross addictions. I am convinced that commitment to great health is a critical component of long-term sobriety. My personal platform for maintaining sobriety is to constantly improve my physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
How can I get started with physical fitness?
Start off with something simple like walking. When can you start? Right now! You don’t need a gym, a treadmill, or a spin bike. All you need is just your own two feet and some fresh air. If struggle to stay consistent, find a personal trainer or work out partner. Preferably find someone who is also in recovery, and then map out a realistic game plan. Take out a piece of paper and write down what’s holding you back from working out. On the other side, write down a logical way to solve each item on the list. Visualize your desired outcome! You will look and feel better, you will free yourself from negative coping mechanisms, and you will realize the rewarding benefits of great health. Become addicted to your process not your progress, because fitness is a marathon not a sprint. Exercising twenty minutes a day is better than four hours once a month, so consistency is the key.
Why is fitness so important to those in recovery?
When an addict is recovering from addiction, their mind and body are working against them. The body and mind desperately miss whatever was producing endorphins in the brain responsible for the feeling of being “high.” Along with everyday life stress, which can often intensify cravings, the recovery process can be an epic battle between the addict and their cravings. This is why staying focused on physical fitness and remaining active is so important in the lives of recovering addicts. Being active and working out several times a week is an important element, or influence, in an addict’s long-term sobriety.
Where can I start my physical transformation?
Gym memberships in today’s world can be very affordable. Sometimes as low as $10 per month, and most cities have several fitness centers to choose from. Find a gym close to where you live or work, makes you feel comfortable, and it a good fit for YOU. If the gym is not your jam, then turn to the great outdoors and workout at a local park, on the beach, on a playground, or wherever you can. If you can afford a personal trainer, I strongly recommend you hire one. Look for a trainer who is deeply invested in their own physical fitness. Preferably one who is also in recovery or supports those in recovery. Personal trainers help keep you safe, accountable, and will push you to exceed your personal fitness goals. You can even buy an inexpensive used set of weights and watch YouTube videos from reputable trainers on how to workout from the comfort of your own home. Don’t make any excuses for not working out several times a week. YOU CAN DO IT!
What do I do in my own fitness program?
Fitness is a HUGE part of my recovery. It’s always included in my daily routine, no different than brushing my teeth. Some days I have time to work out for 45 minutes, while other days I immerse myself in recovery mode being there for several hours. I go to a small, clean, upbeat, personal training gym (Todd Smith Fitness) where everybody knows your name…CHEERS! There is never a shortage of comradery or good laughs at my home gym. It’s one of the main reasons I keep going back. I believe it is imperative in recovery to surround yourself with happy, healthy, active people, and the gym is usually a good place to find individuals with these characteristics. When I work out in a supportive group setting, I feel a sense of belonging and human connection in which I LOVE! Another benefit of having a personal trainer is I learned proper lifting techniques and the other do’s & don’ts of lifting weights. In addition, my trainers are there every day to support and motive me.
My love for fitness and helping other addicts is a healthy addiction for me that played a significant role in my decision to become a personal trainer. I was fortunate enough to spend this past summer as a personal trainer at Passages in Southern California where I attended rehab in 2015. What a humbling experience to return to the place my sober journey began and train those just starting their own pathway to recovery. You could say this past summer I was paying it forward, turning a mess into a message, or just say it was another perfect event the Universe placed in front of me to show others how fitness can help significantly increase their success at long-term sobriety.
If you or someone you love is struggling, please don’t hesitate to Contact Us.
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