by Floyd Godfrey, LPC, CSAT candidate
It’s obvious that regular exercise has benefits toward the way a person feels physically and emotionally. As I’ve worked with clients struggling with sexual addiction, I’ve also heard them express the importance of using exercise as a tool for recovery. Spontaneous bursts of exercise often distract an addict from the vulnerable feelings that come with unexpected triggers or sexual fixation.
Be a Sport is a tool that can help to break any trance-like preoccupation that might be happening. The body’s chemicals will change and addicts often find it easier to think more clearly. The ability to stay clear-minded is very important in recovery.
To prepare for this tool simply make a list of activities that are easy to engage quickly. These should be activities that require physical stamina and energy. Examples might include hitting a punching bag, going for a brisk jog, doing some yoga or stretches, or lifting weights. Think of activities that require you to temporarily push yourself physically. Perhaps it’s better to head to the park for a game of pick-up basketball, or to the gym for a game of racquetball, or to a friends house to go running. You decide what works best to change your setting and mood.
Remember that when you exercise you will also be increasing the oxygen intake and blood flow in your body. This increase in oxygen helps your brain to reason and think more effectively. It helps to keep you alert and more energetic. It also stimulates the production of endorphins that create a natural high.
Be a Sport doesn’t need to be complicated. Some clients I’ve had will keep an extra pair of gym shorts and running shoes in the trunk of their car. You might pack a gym bag and keep it in the corner of your office. Simply find ways to make it easy to exert quick bursts of energy. Be a Sport can be a very effective tool for recovery.