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3 Popular Excuses for Avoiding Exercise

With a new year now in full swing, forming new habits like daily exercise to go along with your recovery can help you to stay clean and sober as well as reduce the risk of early relapse.  Getting exercise each day can help to improve your mental health as well as your physical health.  Most people in recovery, and most people in general, are not getting all of the exercise that they really should be getting.  Odds are good that if you are not getting enough exercise, you are using one of the many popular excuses for not getting up and moving around.  In reality, you are likely just making excuses, and there is little that is true about your excuses for exercise avoidance.

Popular Excuse #1 – I’m too busy for exercise

With all of the other things that you are doing with your life – recovery, family, friends, work, meetings – you may feel like taking time out of your day to exercise is asking too much.  However, you can work exercise into your day without it taking up too much of your time.  Even a ten minute brisk exercise to get your heart pumping and your body moving is beneficial to your health and well-being.  If you have time to sit in the evening or in the morning, you have time to exercise.  Take a walk around the block during your lunch.  If you take the bus to work, get off a few blocks away and walk the rest of the way.  Take the stairs instead of the elevator.  Park at the far end of the grocery store parking lot.  Walk your dog.  Any and all of these things will get you moving and add very little in the way of the time.

Popular Excuse #2 – I am physically limited

While you may believe that a disability, a physical ailment, or chronic pain can put a damper on any kind of exercise that you might be able to do, there is always going to be something that you can do to move around a bit.  There are going to be activities in which you cannot participate if you are physically limited, but there are going to be activities that can help with some of the issues that you face.  You might think about water activities.  Sometimes water based exercise can be gentle enough that it does not exacerbate your ailment but is still strenuous enough that you get the exercise that your body and your mind really need.  Talk to your doctor about what kinds of exercise are appropriate for your conditions.

Popular Excuse #3 – I hate exercise

Life is full of things that adults have to do but do not want to do.  Going to the grocery store can be a pain.  Cleaning the bathroom is not fun.  Doing what your boss tells you to do even when you think that he or she does not know what should really be happening is difficult.  But all of this comes with being an adult.  Sometimes you have to do things that you do not want to do.  In this case, your life may actually depend on getting some exercise.  It might seem truly difficult at first, but exercise does get easier.  Eventually, it will become part of your routine.  There are lots of things that can be considered exercise.  You could do yoga or Pilates or Zumba.  You could go sailing or skateboarding or hiking.  You could do sit ups and jumping jacks, or you could go dancing.  Anything that gets your body moving is going to be good for you.

It may take a long while for you to enjoy exercise.  It may take a while for you to really see the difference that it is making in your life.  But getting some exercise is a very easy way to keep your mind and body healthy.  Keeping your mind and body healthy and active will keep you focused on the reasons that you are in recovery in the first place.  It will keep your mind from slipping into the places where active addiction seems like the only answer.  Exercise will give you the strength to be able to continue fighting for the life that you want to have and have worked toward all through your recovery.

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