The Benefits of Exercise in Recovery

Exercise, like all things in recovery, should be taken in moderation. In order for an exercise program to work, it needs to be both consistent and frequent. Make time to exercise at least four times a week, and give yourself at least an hour per session.

Exercise:

  • Increases the metabolic rate so that calories are burned more efficiently even when we are at rest.
  • Burns fat stores and builds up muscle tissue. Muscle cells are metabolically active and burn calories, whereas fat cells are inert.
  • Increases free fatty acids, which better enable the body to process and utilize dietary fats.
  • Decreases total serum cholesterol and increased levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDLs), the "good fats" associated with lower risk of heart disease.
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Increases the levels of mood-elevating neurochemicals--such as the endorphins, so that we feel better mentally as well as physically.

Aerobic exercises are those that cause the body to use large amounts of oxygen (and burn calories) and prompt the heart and pulse rare to rise through steady, constant movement.

Aerobic exercises tend to involve the large muscle groups, such as those of the legs and arms.

They include:

walking - jogging - cycling - swimming - rowing - step training - cross country skiing -Stairmaster work - other active sports such as tennis or volleyball

Anaerobic exercises develop muscular strength and flexibility and do nor necessarily increase the pulse or heart rate. Anaerobic exercises include:

weight training - calisthenics

Getting an exercise program started:

  1. Choose an activity you like
  2. Choose your location
  3. Start slow
  4. Use appropriate dress
  5. Listen to your body’s cues
  6. Stick with it