Walking: Move Naturally to Enhance Your Recovery
In addiction treatment centres there is quite rightly a great emphasis placed on counselling and psychological therapy. With the harm that the process of addiction does to our mental state, there is no recovery without rejuvenation of the mind. However, in addiction recovery as in every other facet of life, there is a need for balance.
Hence, while we renew the mind and spirit, we cannot ignore the body.
Many health and physical fitness fads have been put forward over the years. Some of the more famous or infamous include:
Miracle cure-all supplements
Bionic exercise machines
Many people expend tremendous amounts of money, time and energy searching for the pot of fitness gold at the end of the proverbial rainbow. Quite often they end up more frustrated and distressed after all the effort without the desired result.
This is why we need to learn the natural way of taking care of our bodies.
Our bodies were created to move; hence it should come natural for us to do just that.
Start with walking.
When we wake in the morning we move from our bedrooms to our bathrooms to our kitchens to our living rooms. We do so to carry out necessary functions of life – excretion, bathing, eating and mental stimulation.
At night we move back to our bedrooms for another necessary life function – sleeping. We do all that movement by way of a natural process – walking.
Right away when we walk, the brain is given a message that we are moving to do something necessary to stay alive. This is why many who are well versed in holistic treatment methods would consider walking one of the best longevity exercises.
Substance abuse has done great harm to our bodies; so we now need to step naturally in the right direction towards our recovery. There is no step more natural than the step we take as we walk. The same way a baby’s muscles become stronger as he or she take those first walking steps, the same way our bodies and recovery become stronger as we walk.
Many are the benefits of walking.
The muscles and bones become stronger
The heart pumps blood more efficiently and our digestion is more effective
More adequate blood pressure and weight control
Improved sleep quality
Enhanced ability to resist diseases
Lighter mood and greater mental wellbeing
The overall outcome is a longer, more abundant, happier and fulfilled life.
So what is the next step for you?
Get a comfortable pair of shoes, a healthy snack, a bottle of water and start walking. You may hike in the woods, stride on a sport’s track or stroll on the beach (in this case the shoes are optional).
As you walk enjoy the scenery, feel the warm sunshine or cool breeze, breathe fresh air and have fun.
When you are doing your daily chores, where possible, park the car and walk. Do not count steps or calories. Walk with good company, share a laugh and feel those natural endorphins being released in your body. Or you may walk alone with positive thoughts and affirmations.
Have you enjoyed the physical, mental, social and spiritual benefits of moving naturally? Please email us and share your recovery journey.
A. Jerry Simon, M.D.