Exercise

Exercising can produce many different reactions, depending on who you ask. Everyone knows what exercising means, of course. But what specifically is so great about exercising? And why is a sober living company talking about it?

Exercise in Recovery

1. Confidence

Gaining confidence is crucial in life. But it’s especially important when we are struggling with a deadly disease (like addiction/alcoholism). When we exercise we tend to have a higher level of confidence and self esteem. In fact, several studies prove self esteem is raised thru exercise. [1]

2. Consistency 

Exercise teaches us how to be consistent. With anything in life, we must constantly put in the work to succeed. Exercise is no different. This consistency will be transmitted to other areas of our lives.

3. Proven Results

Exercise, if done properly and consistently, will produce results. Seeing these results causes us to believe in the process. This belief, transitions into other areas of our lives (like working a recovery program). The results form an understanding for us that if we put in hard work we will succeed. 

4. Social

Along with the personal changes that are related to exercise, social changes are likely to occur as well. Because most exercise requires gym attendance, it’s probable that those who exercise will meet and make new friends. And usually these new friends are dedicated to the hobby of bettering themselves. So, meeting new people who are interested in positive hobbies can benefit your recovery. 

5. Humility

When we begin to exercise, especially at public gyms with people who have lifted for years, we can learn some humility. Exercise is a process and we start from the basics. It is extremely humbling to learn different techniques from those who have more experience. The same can be said for those in recovery. We listen to experience and believe what has been proven in our lives. 

Exercise and humility graphic

Exercise and Long term health

The health benefits of exercise are extreme. Exercise can play an important role in the longevity of our life. But, exercise not only helps us live longer, but it helps many of our most important internal organs.

1. Cardiovascular Health

Exercise helps the heart grow stronger. Specifically, by increasing the strength of the heart muscle, our bodies are able to transport blood to our lungs (and the rest of our body). Furthermore, the more blood flow to our muscles, the higher the oxygen levels in our blood system. This creates a higher functioning, less disease ridden outcome for our lives. In fact, because of the drastic affects of exercise on the heart, we can ultimately avoid, or at least postpone, cardiovascular diseases. [2] 

2. Blood Pressure

As we stated before, exercise helps the heart muscle. This, in turn, helps the process of transporting blood. But, for blood pressure, exercise helps not only grow the heart, but it makes blood transportation take less effort. If the heart requires less effort to pump blood, then the force on the arteries is less, thus resulting in lower blood pressure. Exercise can decrease blood pressure by an average of 4-9 Millimeters of mercury. This is equivalent to taking blood pressure medications. [3] It’s incredible what exercise can do for us! 

3 . Brain Health

Since blood flow begins at the heart, strengthening it is the best way to improve overall blood transportation. And this increases many organs themselves. Just like the brain. Exercise reduces inflammation, insulin resistance and helps stimulate the release of growth factors. These growth factors are chemicals in the brain that benefit the health of brain cells, the growth of new blood vessels and the maintenance of surviving cells.  All this creates better memory, more cognitive action and lowers stress. Exercise is one of the best tools to improve overall executive functions in the brain. [4]

Getting Started

Starting an exercise routine can be a daunting task to some. But, it doesn’t have to be complex or overly stressful. In fact, the more simple the program, the better the long term results. Below we are including a basic routine (that can be used for anyone). All of our residents in our signature program have personal gym memberships to Gold’s gym, so their routines may be different than those with out a gym membership. Nevertheless, this simple program can work for anyone.

Exercise graphic plan

Following a plan is #1

Above all else, in order to be consistent in exercise, you must find a way that makes since for you. Everyone is extremely unique. Some may enjoy swimming while others can’t wait to get on a bike. The specifics matter very little. The objective is to find something active to do at least 5 days a week. Find something you can develop into a hobby. Once you start exercising, all the other benefits will come. So, be patient, willing and enjoy the process.