If you’ve been in recovery for a while, you know that exercise does wonders for those in recovery. The benefits of exercise for those in recovery are plentiful. They include helping with mood management, creating endorphins, and allowing you to remain in the present moment (mindfulness). Certainly, there are many different forms of exercise you can choose from to take advantage of these wonderful benefits. And if you’re like most people, you may not enjoy vigorous exercise like running. If you’re one who likes to take your exercise routine at your own pace, you may enjoy taking a daily walk instead. If you like to walk and want to get the most out of your walking regimen, there are a few things you can keep in mind. This way, you can take full advantage of the health benefits of walking every day!
One of the reasons that exercise can evoke mindfulness is that it takes you out into nature. So, take advantage of being outside and listen to the sounds of the earth. Rather than plugging into your Itunes or Spotify, try unplugging for the few moments you spend on your daily walk. Think about what you’re thankful for on your road to recovery, what you look forward to, and how you can better your sobriety efforts during. And, get your daily dose of mindfulness and your exercise all at once!
If you live in an area that’s affected by the changing seasons, you can test out your creative photography talent by taking a photograph of the same space every day for a year. This way, you can put together a collage of all the pictures to view the changing seasons. For example, take a picture of your favorite park bench and its surrounding landscape every day on your daily walk. In 365 days, you’ll have a complete album of your favorite shot that can be played and sped up to show how your favorite spot changes in a year’s time.
Your daily walk gives you a great excuse to try that new FitBit watch you just bought and count your steps. Or, plug in the calories you’ve burned and the steps you’ve taken into a smartphone app that can help you better track your exercise progress.
It can be challenging to find the time to walk for an hour every day, or whatever length of time you find desirable. However, if you choose to walk instead of driving your car or take the bus, you can still get what you need to get done daily while also getting your walk in! Obviously, this may only work if your errands are a mile or two from home. But, if you can figure out that you can walk to certain places instead of driving every-so-often, you won’t have a good excuse not to get a walk in every now and then.
We know that it’s hard to get out and exercise every day. You may even think you get enough exercise doing your daily tasks like working and taking care of your kids. But, even if you do, it’s always a good idea to get out into nature and give yourself the opportunity to spread your legs and walk for some exercise. So, if you’re up to the task, challenge yourself to a streak of daily walks. Be sure to make your goal something that’s reachable, say, every day for a month. And, schedule it in your planner so you can hold yourself accountable!
If you’re like the staff at Willow Place for Women, you know that both nature and exercise can go a long way in helping individuals find freedom from a life of addiction. There’s just something about being outside that evokes the present. While in recovery, we must remember to live every day as they come, rather than obsessing over the past or worrying about the future. So, activities which stimulate mindfulness, including daily walks, are important to incorporate.
If you’re looking for a treatment center that values the benefits of mindfulness, consider getting help for yourself or a loved one at Willow Place for Women in Asheville, North Carolina. Call us today to speak confidentially with one of our addiction specialists to learn more today.