Balancing Your Fitness Routine With Overall Self-Care

Being fit is a goal that we all should embrace. It improves our physical health and emotional well-being and can even help us overcome the challenges of addiction. Fitness can be a crucial component of self-healing, too. And when balanced with self-care, it makes us stronger and more resilient.
Understanding self-care
The concept of self-care is tossed around a lot, but what does it mean? Self-care is based in nursing theory and encompasses any activity that a person can do to improve their physical, emotional, or mental health. It’s about refueling, not taking away. It can involve simple actions or more complex treatments, but in all cases, it should be planned and deliberate to be useful as a component of your fitness routine.
Adding self-care to workouts
As important as fitness is to good health, sometimes fitness can become obsessive and aimed at unhealthy goals. Self-care is an ideal way to make sure you’re not overexerting yourself because it requires recognizing injury. Self-care as a part of holistic well-being prioritizes health over workout milestones. Here are a few ways to add self-care to your fitness routine:
Breathing exercises and meditation. Often these are used as a way to center yourself before and after activity because they promote calm mindfulness.
Tap into your body. Know your limits and listen to your pain. Don’t just run through
soreness if you know that the only way you’ll be able to walk tomorrow is with ibuprofen.
Set and track goals that go beyond numbers. Removing quantification from fitness is hard. BMI, weight, and blood pressure can all be good indicators of fitness, but fitness goals can and should be broader. A goal to walk every day for 30 minutes focuses less on results and more on healthy habits.
Organize your life. Self-care can go beyond our bodies, where we create ideal
environments around us that are clutter free.
Focus on nutrition. Eating a balanced diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruit, and lean proteins will improve physical health and concentration.
Look for joy. Do something that
makes you happy every day.
Self-care and recovery
Self-care helps not only in fitness goals, but also can be a component of
healthy recovery from substance abuse. Since self-care enables holistic health, it can prevent relapse. Understanding recovery requires understanding why some people pursue their addictions. They are seeking happiness, pain relief, or escape. Self-care is an integral part of recovery and relapse prevention because it can provide these solutions, drug free.
Exercise as a potential treatment for drug abuse
Combined with self-care, exercise can also fill a void that substance abuse might otherwise occupy. Studies show that there are at least two reasons that increased exercise results in a decreased likelihood of drug abuse. First, exercise creates a feeling of euphoria comparable or preferable to that of drug use. Secondly, activity can create a lifestyle change where you have no room in your life for unhealthy pursuits. These two are not mutually exclusive, but instead, work together as an element of self-care. Creating good habits that make you feel good is precisely the purpose of self-care.
Self-care opens the door to self-healing And some believe that the power of self-care goes far beyond providing comfort and positivity but into our abilities to heal. Self-healing is the result of self-care. When we look into what makes someone healthy, we often find that healthy people have healthy habits. Ultimately, whole body and mind fitness combines exercise with self-care. It has the ability to balance us, which can keep us from addictive behaviors and help us heal.
– Susan Treadway

4 Ways in Which Exercise Helps You Recover From Addiction

When you are trying to recover from an addiction, it may seem impossible to find the willpower to work out. You may be tempted to tell yourself that you need to get better first and that you will create a healthy routine once you feel more stable. However, there is ample evidence that exercise can be invaluable during the recovery process, and many former addicts claim that it made all the difference for them. Here are four reasons why you should be getting fit as you get sober.


It Triggers a Natural High


The runner’s high is not a myth, but a chemical reaction that happens in the body during moderate-intensity endurance exercise. According to Runner’s World, researchers have theorized that this response may have allowed our hunting ancestorsto run long distances by masking their pain and discomfort. Nowadays, it can serve a similar purpose for recovering addicts suffering withdrawal symptoms. It is also simply a healthy way to achieve a high comparable to drugsin its intensity, which could be crucial for someone on the edge of relapse.


It Improves Your Mental Health


By exercising, you will be helping your mental health just as much as your physical health. Exercise has been shownto help alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety, both of which are commonly found alongside addiction. Specific exercises that have been shown to improve mental health includeyoga, dancing, running, and strength training.


Nevertheless, you should remember that physical fitness does not represent an all-out cure for mental health issues. For many, it is only useful when applied within the context of treatment, such as counseling or medication.


It Rewires Your Brain


Exercise doesn’t just make you feel better; it physically rewires the way your brain responds to negative emotions. Interestingly, your brain does not distinguish between the physical stress you feel at the gym and the emotional stress that makes you anxious. In both cases, your brain triggers the production of cortisol, which causes the symptoms of stress.


When you exercise regularly, you are exposing your brain to stress and improving its ability to process it. As a result, when encountered with emotional stress, your brain produces less cortisol, lessening the actual physical sensations of stress. According to Men’s Health, this same response has been listed by experts as one of the reasons why exercise can also boost confidence. When you feel less stressed, you feel surer of your ability to tackle anything life throws at you.


It Helps You Set Up a Healthy Routine


Your exercise habit is likely to have a positive knock-on effect in other areas of your life. Research has shown that people who work out regularly feel more compelled to eat a healthier diet. As you put effort into your exercise routine, you will be motivated to keep up the work in the kitchen. Similarly, once exercise has become a habit, your mind is free to focus on other things you can actively try to improve.


Exercise can help you sleep better, which is another foundation of a healthy lifestyle.  By focusing on building a workout habit, you can get much better results than trying to change your life all at the same time. For recovering addicts who need to change their daily routine while maintaining a sense of control over their lives, this singular focus can be an anchor around which they can build a healthy lifestyle.



When creating your new fitness routine, the one rule is to choose exercises you enjoy. Aside from that, look for workouts that involve controlled breathing (running, yoga, swimming, strength training) because these can have meditative properties. Prioritize longer workouts at moderate intensity, particularly if you want to get that runner’s high, but feel free to throw in a more challenging exercise if you are up for it. If it gets you moving and makes you feel good, incorporate it into your schedule.

 – Written By: Susan Treadway



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