Exercise is any activity performed to develop or maintain your physical fitness. It’s worth doing because it’s fun and a way to be with friends, to challenge yourself, and to learn new things. It’s worth doing because people who engage in regular exercise are less likely to relapse and more likely to succeed at their goals. Start a regular exercise routine and improve:
• Your physical health and your energy level.
• Your body’s ability to fight disease.
• Your personal appearance, physical strength, and sexual energy.
• Your emotional health, self-esteem, confidence, and overall mental health.
• Your attitude toward yourself and to others around you.
• Your ability to control your moods and manage anxiety and depression (National Center For Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 1996).
In fact, you will just plain feel better. Exercise will provide a distraction from the things that cause you to feel angry, anxious or depressed. It will give you the opportunity to increase your social activity with others in a healthy way that does not involve alcohol or drug use.
One final important point: exercise helps reduce relapse. Exercise reduces stress. Exercising itself is incompatible with active drug use or alcohol use. Exercise enthusiasts choose not to waste their time or money on things that stop them from succeeding. Begin your exercise plan today and get moving. Keep it simple at first; it doesn’t have to be expensive to get you moving. It will keep you on the road of relapse prevention and on your way to becoming your own champion. Go to the end of Chapter 5, and add at least one activity to your “Exercise, Recreation and Social Activities Plan.”