Part 2: Balancing Mind, Body and Spirit:
As stated in my previous article, recovery from any life threatening disease requires a balanced approach of the mind, body and spirit. In Part 1, Charlie makes a great start to his recovery program by asking for help. He recognizes that exercise is an integral part of his recovery program and has started to work with a health professional to help restore the structure and function of his ailing body.
A consistent exercise program will impact almost every aspect of Charlie’s health.
In fact exercise can:
O Reduce the risk of premature death
O Reduce the risk of heart disease
O Reduce high blood pressure
O Reduce high cholesterol
O Reduce the risks of many types of cancer
O Reduce the risk of acquiring diabetes
O Reduce body fat percentage and optimize body weight
O Build and maintain healthy muscles, bones, and joints
O Reduce depression and anxiety
O Enhance performance in work and in sports
In this article, I am going to focus on the importance of physical exercise in a balanced and comprehensive recovery program.
How does one do this?
Recall that Charlie is 50 pounds overweight and gets out of breath easily. He finds walking exceedingly painful because of an ongoing low back condition. However, after four weeks of chiropractic treatment, Charlie is now able to walk pain free for five to ten minutes. He is excited about his progress and definitely sees light at the end of the tunnel. He finds that walking has decreased his level of stress and increased his sense of vitality and well being. He had always enjoyed walking and stretching but chronic pain and addiction to alcohol and drugs prevented him from performing these activities.
The next step for Charlie is to add four simple low back stretches to his daily walking regime. If he can become more flexible, his low back musculature will be better able to support him during weight bearing activities. Charlie’s chiropractor has given him two exercises seated and two exercise lying on his back. He has no trouble doing the exercises at the office and feels he can perform these exercises almost anywhere.
Charlie decides that he can perform his walking and low back exercises down at the nearby beautiful park. He will also be able to read his daily meditation and spend time in quiet prayer as well. In this scenario, he is exercising his physical body and also nourishing his mind and spirit. Furthermore, he enjoys his exercise in the beauty of nature.
This is a great example of a recovery program that balances the mind, body and spirit. It should be noted that many people minimize or totally ignore the exercise component of their recovery program.
Charlie has asked for help, and has taken action steps to achieve his goals. He is working his recovery program consistently each day and is beginning to reap the rewards of his efforts. Not only will exercise help him recover from his addiction problem, it will also help him reduce the risk of another heart attack and help him lose weight. Ultimately, he will once again be able to play with his two adorable grandchildren.
Remember that physical fitness is a vital component of any recovery program. Take action now and become physically fit!