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Summer is a Great Time to Start Exercising for Your Recovery

Summer is a Great Time to Start Exercising for Your Recovery

You already know you should be exercising, right? You hardly need us to tell you that exercise has benefits for your physical health. You don’t need us to explain that exercise has benefits for your mental health, too. And you probably already understand that activities that benefit your physical health and your mental health also support your efforts to maintain your sobriety.

But even if you understand each and every one of those things, you still might not be exercising. Maybe you used to exercise but got out of the habit. Maybe you have never been much of an exerciser. Maybe you feel overwhelmed by all of the (sometimes conflicting) information out there about exercise or feel like you will never make any real progress. 

Many people find themselves in this very situation: aware that they really should exercise, but having a heck of a time convincing themselves to get started.

Still, summer is on its way—and it might just be the perfect time to get your exercise routine on track. We have some ideas that might help.

Take Advantage of the Light in the Evening

As summer gets underway, there is plenty of light deep into the evening—and that might be the perfect time to get a little exercise in. There is time to go for a walk, for example. Taking a half hour stroll in the evening is a wonderful way to get started. You can go alone and listen to your favorite music or podcast—or just take in the natural scene around you. You can go with a friend or partner and use the time to talk and connect without the usual distractions that sometimes interfere with maintaining good relationships. And, of course, there might be a furry friend who would love to go with you, too, and to stay out longer than you would otherwise. 

Walking is just one kind of exercise you might take up during those longer summer days. You could head to a nearby park and practice your jump shot. You could take your pace up a bit and jog rather than walk. You could hop on your bike and go for a ride. You could swim a few laps in a community pool. Whatever your preferred activity, the evening light might give you the chance you need to get started.

Getting Into the Garden or Yard Can Be Good Exercise

Summer is a great time to create a beautiful garden or make other landscaping improvements to the area around your home. You might not automatically associate gardening with exercise, but the fact is that the activity offers plenty of fitness benefits.

In an article on the CNN website titled “Gardening has taken off. Here’s why the popular activity can replace your gym workout,” writer Melanie Radzicki McManus explains the many benefits of gardening. She writes:

Working in your garden or yard is a source of moderate to vigorous physical activity in younger adults, while providing low to moderate physical activity in older adults, research has shown. The pastime is also a muscle-strengthening activity, according to the US Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, and one of the physical activities with the lowest injury rates.

If the idea of gardening as exercise appeals to you, we encourage you to check out McManus’ full article at the link above. She offers excellent information and advice for those who are eager to get started—as well as more information on the ways in which gardening can benefit your physical and mental health. Those kinds of benefits, as we have noted, extend to helping you stay sober.

Add Some Action to Summer Weekends

Summer weekends are a great time to plan some adventures. You might hike or bike a local trail. You could tour a museum. You could find a walkable neighborhood where you can go antiquing. You might head out of town to take in a beautiful beach or landscape. The options for mini-adventures are many.

Except for the hiking and biking, none of that might seem terribly strenuous, and so you might wonder how these suggestions contribute to getting some exercise. The answer is simple: Any activity that gets you up and moving is valuable to your well-being. When your mind and body are engaged in something interesting and fun, you will experience the kinds of benefits that support your sobriety.

We Are Always Here to Help

We have been focused on summertime activities in this blog entry, but substance use disorders are not confined to any one season. Fortunately, help is available all year round from Bel Aire Recovery Center. Located near Wichita, Kansas, Bel Aire offers personalized treatment for substance use disorders and for co-occurring mental health disorders like depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Our philosophy of treatment is built around you and your specific needs because we understand that cookie-cutter solutions are often insufficient. If you are ready to turn your life around, we are ready to help you reach your goal.

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