Sarah Coleman: Why fitness? I give you the top 10 reasons
For Steamboat Pilot & Today
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Happy Recovery Month everyone.
Each September, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration sponsors National Recovery Month to increase awareness and understanding of mental and substance use disorders and celebrate the individuals living in recovery.
In honor of Recovery Month, here are all the amazing benefits that health and fitness have on the mind, body and spirit, especially for those in recovery. We all can agree the fitness and nutrition play a huge part in overall wellness for the general population but here are the top 10.
1.) Relives depression
Exercise stimulates the release of many of the brain chemicals thought to be in low supply when someone is battling depression. Exercise also raises body temperature, which has a calming effect.
2.) Improves your quality of sleep
Sleep deprivation can make a person more vulnerable to stress, depression and anxiety. Exercise can help reduce some of these factors that drive drug use by going straight to the source. Plus, the body needs sleep to function. Period.
3.) Helps create new social groups and healthy habits
Joining new classes and groups can help aide you in new sober habits and meet like-minded people.
4.) Aides in discipline and distraction
By having new things to focus on, like an exercise routine, you will set new patterns to help set you up for success. This gives you the discipline to get out of old habits and routines. Exercise serves also as a distraction to the things that may be pressuring you. A commitment to a regular workout or other exercise regime takes up time, keeping you busy. Routine is such a major component to instilling consistency and healthier living habits, and for addicts that is of paramount importance.
5.) Boost self-image and self-esteem
There is no argument here, if you start exercising you will look and feel better. You will gain muscle and lose body fat. This will help build self-esteem and create a positive outlook on life.
6.) Reduces risk of heart disease and other aliments/diseases
The heart is a muscle and needs exercise to stay in shape. When it’s exercised, the heart can pump more blood through the body and continue working at optimal efficiency with little strain. This will likely help it to stay healthy longer. Regular exercise also helps to keep arteries and other blood vessels flexible, ensuring good blood flow and normal blood pressure and cholesterol. Drugs and alcohol have the opposite effect.
7.) Working out offers an outlet for anger, anxiety, and aggression
It’s common for recovering addicts to have trouble dealing with rage and feeling frustrated; because of addiction, you may not have learned to express these emotions in a healthy way. Going for a run, lifting weights, yoga practice, meditation, or even hitting a punching bag can help you manage anger and frustration without relapsing.
8.) Detoxes the body
By sweating we release lactic acid and toxins from the body, cleansing our liver and kidneys and leaving our skin radiant and glowing.
9.) Emotional benefits that come with yoga
A greater peace of mind comes to just about everyone who performs yoga and this gives access to new and healthier coping mechanisms. Instead of turning to drugs or alcohol, you can turn to the calming breathing and meditative exercises inherent in yoga.
10.) Increased self-discipline
Learning how to say “no” to an addiction is challenging, but the challenge of committing to yoga can give you the new discipline you need to stay clean for the rest of your life.
Sarah Coleman brings years of personal health and fitness knowledge to the table. Currently the health and wellness director at The Foundry, Coleman is a personal trainer, “CrossFitter,” coach, outdoor enthusiast, managing partner with Inspired Live Network and owner of A Weight Lifted Fitness Camp. She provides flawless technique and a positive attitude. Taking fitness to new levels, she uses the outdoor environment, your living room or work space, as well as the gym to influence and push her clientele. Funky knee socks and outrageous colors make Sarah unique, which transfers into her training and brings a smile to everyone’s face.
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