Exercise can help make you strong and can help you recover from injuries or illnesses. Exercise is also an important preventative tool. It can do this by reducing stress. High levels of stress can contribute to physical and mental illnesses and even to drug and alcohol addictions.
Exercise can reduce stress by increasing the levels of chemicals in the brain that make a person feel good. People with these boosted levels might be less likely to turn to drugs or alcohol because exercise is providing a natural sort of high. In fact, many top addiction treatment centers include gyms at their facilities or employ personal trainers because exercise can help prevent stress and make recovering addicts stronger.
While we might know about the physical and mental benefits of exercise, we might not know how we’re going to accomplish all of this exercise. We’re all busy and we seem to be getting busier all of the time. But there are cheap and easy ways to incorporate exercise into our busy lives.
Exercise when you wake up
Yes, mornings can be hectic. Yes, sleep is important. But do you usually spend a few minutes every morning just hitting the snooze button? Instead, you might want to use that time to exercise.
Carving out just a few minutes for exercise can help you squeeze some physical activity into your day. This will help you burn calories all day, even after you’ve stopped exercising. Morning exercise can also help you feel more alert. It can make you feel as if you’ve accomplished something and that you’re able to accomplish even more during the rest of your day.
Exercise at home
Gyms can provide useful help and amazing fitness equipment. But if you exercise in one, you have to spend time commuting and from your fitness facility. If you can afford it, consider hiring a personal trainer to train you at home. You can have this trainer visit regularly.
Or you can hire the trainer just a few times to teach you how to perform certain exercises. If you use the Groupon app, you might be able to find discounts on these personal trainers. You can also use other apps or YouTube videos to guide you through a huge variety of exercises, from yoga to running.
Exercise the old-school way
Do you remember the Jane Fonda exercise videos? Even if you don’t, you might want to consider exercise DVDs and videos. They can teach you a huge variety of exercises and they’re usually reasonably priced. If you still have a VCR, you can often find videotapes for next to nothing at garage sales, book sales, and thrift shops.
As an added bonus, the dated hairstyles, clothes, and set design of the older videos can provide a cheap laugh (think feathered hair, pastel leg warmers, and neon). DVDs and videos are even cheaper if you rent them from your local library.
Do you need cheap exercise equipment? No problem. Buy equipment in January and February, when many stores place exercise equipment on sale to attract people who’ve made exercise their New Year’s resolutions. You can also visit stores that sell used gym equipment for bargain prices. If you don’t want to buy equipment or can’t afford to do so, you’re still in luck. Many exercises—push-ups, squats, crunches, lunges, running, walking, etc—don’t require equipment, but can be extremely effective in targeting certain areas of the body.
Exercise every day
I know, this sounds difficult. But we’re not talking about exercising for an hour or more for seven days a week. Commit to at least ten minutes of exercise every day. Some days you’ll probably have the time and the energy to exercise more than that. If you can’t even squeeze ten minutes of exercise into your day, it might be a good sign that you should re-examine your schedule.
This exercise could help you relieve some of your daily stress. It could also make you feel better psychologically, since you’ve actually taken time and effort to do something for yourself. You might be able to bring this good feeling to other areas of your life. The best top addiction treatment centers will make sure you maintain a new, healthy routine, which would likely involve daily exercise.
While watching your favorite TV Show
Do you feel guilty watching a lot of television during a marathon viewing session? You don’t have to feel guilty if you exercise a little during the show. (It might even make you feel less stressed when the zombies show up on screen.) If you’re worried about missing anything, do some low-impact exercises.
Just make sure that they allow you to consistently look in one direction (towards your television set).
If you use services such as Hulu and Netflix to watch your favorite shows, you can use them to find a variety of exercises. If you’re particularly good at multitasking, you might be able to watch two different shows or use two different apps at the same time on the same device. If you watch commercial television, you can also use the tried-and-true method of exercising during television commercials. The key here is to move a little instead of sitting the whole time.
Exercise as part of your social life
Instead of meeting friends for coffee or beer, consider taking a walk with them. Or join a sports team or sports league. Your choice of activities is endless. You can bowl or golf, play basketball, dodge ball, softball, or hockey, or participate in a bunch of other activities.
These activities help you get some exercise, hang out with your old friends, and meet new friends. When you leave one of the many top addiction treatment centers across the country, you will have formed a group of newly sober friends—which can be a great asset to continued recovery.
You might want to consider visiting a site such as Meetup.com to find people and activities in your geographic area. Online Health Sites offers deals for exercise classes and for activities as varied as rock climbing, bowling, or hitting at a batting cage.