Exercise changes brain chemistry and helps prevent relapse.
Your brain on exercise
Even a small amount of daily exercise can change and strengthen your brain and “re-wire” it to diminish cravings. This is due to the re-balancing of concentrations of pleasurable neurotransmitters, including:
Stay stopped by adding routine exercise to your daily life.
Just like any other habit, repetition reinforces the behavior – good or bad. Exercise not only helps you stay in recovery, it also has the obvious benefits of weight and disease management, delivering an overall sense of well being, and looking and feeling better!
Exercise Plans (basic)
Below are ideas for those who haven’t yet started exercising (Beginner/LIGHT), and for those who are already in shape (In Shape/MODERATE). Each contains 4 key components:
|Walk, dynamic stretching||rest||Walk, dynamic stretching||rest||Walk, dynamic stretching||rest||rest|
|Brisk walk||rest||Cardio equipment||rest||Hike, bike, or swim||rest||rest|
|Calisthenics||rest||Upper, lower body weights||rest||Resistance training||rest||rest|
|Walk, stretch||rest||Dynamic stretching, walk||rest||Dynamic static stretching||rest||rest|
|Walk, easy jog/cardio, stretching||Walk, easy jog/cardio, stretching||Walk, easy jog/cardio, stretching||Walk, easy jog/cardio, stretching||Walk, easy jog/cardio, stretching||rest||rest|
|Walk, easy jog/cardio, stretching||X-country run, hike, bike, or swim||Walk, easy jog/cardio, stretching||X-country run, hike, bike, or swim||Walk, easy jog/cardio, stretching||rest||rest|
|Weights, chest, back, legs||Weights, shoulders, arms, abs||Calisthenics, resistance, Pilates, yoga||Weights, chest, back, legs||Weights, shoulders, arms, abs||rest||rest|
|Walk, stretch||Walk, stretch||Walk, stretch||Walk, stretch||Walk, stretch||rest||rest|
“Going to the gym was not so much about losing weight for me. Going pushes me – it’s the motivation I need to better motivate myself in all aspects of my recovery.”
“Thank you. This logically makes me want to quit smoking. But it’s hard” NOTE: This participant quit smoking two weeks later. She had been smoking for 15 years with a pack per day habit.
“Going to the gym is the only time that the negative self-talk in my head is quiet. It is truly my escape and I don’t know where I would be without it. It’s a life-saver!”
“I look forward to every single session and have learned so much about recovery and myself. When I started slacking off, Shelley called me out on my (behaviors) and dragged me to the gym. Got me back on track.”