Happy Fall Sober People!
Whether you welcome fall or mourn the end of summer this time of year can be tough. Shorter days, less sunshine and more time spent indoors can reduce energy levels and negatively impact mood. Which is what makes this the perfect time to recommit to a healthy activity routine. This isn’t about a beach body or losing weight: this is about committing to move your body a little every day because it’s really good for your mental health, your daily living and your recovery. Think of it as pumpkin spice for the soul.
Exercise and Sobriety
It’s scientific. One recent study on mental health and exercise found that regular, moderate-intensity exercise helped reduce cravings, improved overall mood and could serve as a useful coping strategy. There is also a strong correlation between the behavior modification recommended for people in early sobriety and the physical and mental changes that happen with regular exercises. In other words: exercise can change a person’s metabolism, fight stress and prime the mind for more learning.
Killing Time, Sleeping Soundly
Regular, moderate-to-high intensity workouts also have a documented impact on sleep. Studies have shown 15-30 minutes of exercise daily helps regulate natural processes in the body, including the production on melatonin. Exercise is also a great way to fill time — which people new in sobriety often find they have a lot of!
Where to Start
There is always the gym. Whether you have a membership collecting dust or have never joined a gym in your entire life: these can be social places where you’ll find many options for group classes or a variety of machines to try. We recommend starting with a gym that is located somewhere close to work or home and provides a comfortable atmosphere. There are some big chains to choose from and there are also smaller, more boutique gyms that provide one-on-one training and a much smaller, intimate workout space.
You name it, there’s a workout for it. Want to pretend you’re a ballerina? Try Barre. Want a little of the flow of yoga+ the strength training of pilates? Piyo has got you covered. Want a little of everything? There are multiple providers such as DailyBurn that feature lots of programs for a monthly subscription.
There’s an App for That
There are a lot of great workout apps that you can have with you at all times. From virtual running coaches for those looking to tackle a marathon in the spring to those looking to get in a little yoga every day — there’s a lot to choose from. This can be ideal as sometimes you just need to shut the door and punch up a 14 minute “Yoga for Relaxation” routine.
Just remember as the days grow shorter and the couch/Netflix beckons that your body and mind need to be extra-nurtured.