The best exercise is the one you want to do!

While I want to encourage readers to get active in recovery, there are some important things to consider first, especially if you’ve recently stopped drugging and drinking.

  • In early recovery we are more prone health and injury problems. This is because we been sedentary, malnourished, and (probably) smoking; and the drugs/alcohol caused damage to our cardiovascular, nervous, endocrine, digestive, musculoskeletal (and other) systems.
  • Addiction has not been kind to our bodies (or minds). Even though you might be starting to look better on the outside, your insides may not be keeping up with that progress.
  • We tend to want to over-do it. “Make up for lost time.” There’s a saying in AA, “Time takes time.” Believe it. As much as you might want to, you cannot change the laws of physics or biology. Slow down.
  • Think in terms of “journey”, rather than “destination.”
  • Keep an open-mind. I have more problems with former athletes than I do with those who were not particularly athletic prior to addiction. Why? Because the former athletes tend to go too hard, too fast. This can lead to disappointment because of unrealistic expectations, or injury, or quitting.
  • Remember, anything you do now is more than you were doing before! Think in terms of progress, rather than what “people” “should” or “must” or “are expected” to do.
  • Your goal for each day should be suiting up and showing up. Just like they say in 12-step meetings, “Don’t drink or use. Go to meetings.” Same principle here.
  • Make sure you’re cleared by a medical professional prior to engaging in any program of activity or exercise.