The Best Tips for Creating Your Fitness Routine

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“The higher your energy level, the more efficient your body. The more efficient your body, the better you feel and the more you will use your talent to produce outstanding results.”

-Tony Robbins, Motivational Speaker

The best exercise routine is the one that you actually do! This sounds simple, but often people jump into fitness routines without considering what is realistic and doable first. Especially with the new year, people tend to create health and fitness goals that motivate them to exercise for a few weeks before burning out by mid-February. While the pandemic continues to surge in some areas, we might need to adjust our fitness routines or limit our time in public spaces, like gyms and yoga studios. However, this does not mean that we need to sacrifice our health and fitness goals. While in recovery, developing a fitness program can give us a new coping mechanism and help us feel better as we continue our treatment.

Benefits of Fitness for Mental Health

Most of us are aware that physical fitness is beneficial for our mental health and addiction recovery. Many treatment centers, like The Kimberly Center in Fort Myers, Florida, include a component of physical health in their programs. The connection between the mind and the body is powerful. When you exercise, you build strength, resilience, and energy which helps you realize your full potential. Here are some of the ways that exercise can help you in recovery:

  • Increased energy levels
  • Better and more efficient sleep
  • Stress relief
  • Decreased feelings of anxiety
  • Lowered levels of depression
  • Improved concentration and focus

When dealing with detox and withdrawal, exercise can help you feel better and build resiliency in your recovery. Beginning an exercise program or fitness routine might seem difficult if you feel tired or unmotivated. However, motivation often follows action, not the other way around.  Once you put one foot forward, the other will follow. 

Start Small and Do What You Can

What are you capable of doing today? Can you take a few minutes to walk around the block or unplug for a minute to do some jumping jacks? Many people believe that a fitness routine needs to be intense and regimented for success. They might feel intimidated by learning new movements or think that they cannot afford to invest in equipment or a gym. While professional athletes and body-builders might need to spend hours exercising each day, you can gain the benefits of exercise by getting your body moving for just a few minutes each day. If you are working from home, you can just do one exercise each time you take a break. Start small and be proud of yourself for just getting yourself moving, even if only for ten minutes! Try some of the following:

  • Calisthenics:
    • These are the exercises many of us learned in gym class growing up.
    • Most of these exercises require no equipment or intensive training.
    • Try doing things like:
      • Pushups
      • Situps or crunches
      • Jumping Jacks
      • Standing long jumps
  • Stretching:
    • Simple stretches can be beneficial for recovery.
    • Try exercises like toe touches, either by standing with knees straight or sitting on the floor.
    • Start any exercise where you are today to improve your tomorrow! If you cannot reach your toes, touch your ankles or knees and hold for a count of ten.
  • Go for a walk:
    • Just get out and take a walk around the block. 
    • You might be surprised at your endurance by gradually increasing the length of your walks every day. 
    • Remember that even if you strive to walk only five feet further each day, these extra steps will add up over a few months. 

Keep It Fun

The best fitness routine is the one that you stick to, so find things that bring you joy. If you like animals, you can take a pet for a walk or volunteer to walk a neighbor’s dog. If you like working out with other people and cannot meet up with anyone due to the pandemic, consider trying workouts from youtube or connecting with others on video chat programs like Zoom. If you love nature, get out into the wilderness for a rewarding hike. 

If You Are Bored, Make a Change

Fitness can be a lifelong habit for us; however, when we get bored with our routines, we struggle to stick to them. If you find yourself hitting a rut with a fitness routine, find ways to change it up to keep your interest. Try walking a different route or changing the time of day that you exercise. If you can safely exercise with others, invite people to join along with you, or connect virtually with them. Fitness buddies can help us stay accountable, even if we are sharing our accomplishments with friends over the phone or an app.

Exercise and physical fitness can be incredibly beneficial for those struggling with addiction and working on their recovery. Exercise can boost energy, improve sleep, build strength, and help relieve stress. Many rehabilitation facilities offer exercise and physical health components in treatment. We can complete some exercises on our own and build a routine for ourselves. Fitness routines do not need to be complex or invasive. We do not need to invest hundreds of dollars in equipment or gym memberships to benefit from fitness. Just a few minutes each day of taking a walk, completing calisthenics, or stretching can give you a huge boost in your recovery and improve your mental health. If you are struggling with your mental health and addiction recovery, The Kimberly Center is here to help you. We offer fitness programs on our property, including water aerobics and water yoga. Call us today at (855) 452-3683.

 

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