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Starting an Exercise Routine in Early Recovery

Written on January 16, 2024
Starting an Exercise Routine in Early Recovery

Starting an exercise routine in early recovery can be a positive step for both physical and mental well-being. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Consult with Healthcare Professionals: Before beginning any exercise routine, it’s important to consult with your healthcare provider, especially if you have any pre-existing health conditions. They can provide guidance on the types and intensity of exercises that are safe for you.
  2. Start Slowly: If you haven’t been active for a while, start with low-intensity exercises. Gradually increase the duration and intensity as your fitness level improves. This helps prevent injuries and allows your body to adjust.
  3. Choose Enjoyable Activities: Find exercises that you enjoy, as this increases the likelihood of sticking to your routine. Whether it’s walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, or group classes, pick something that makes you feel good.
  4. Establish a Routine: Set a regular schedule for your workouts. Consistency is key in developing a habit. Whether it’s morning walks, afternoon gym sessions, or evening yoga, having a routine helps make exercise a part of your daily life.
  5. Mix Cardio and Strength Training: A combination of cardiovascular exercises (e.g., walking, running, cycling) and strength training (e.g., weightlifting, bodyweight exercises) provides a well-rounded fitness routine. This combination enhances overall health and fitness. working with a personal trainer or using an app such as FitBod can help you get started with how to strength train and meet your goals.
  6. Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to how your body feels during and after exercise. If you experience pain (other than normal muscle soreness), dizziness, or discomfort, it’s important to stop and reassess. Pushing yourself too hard can lead to injuries.
  7. Stay Hydrated: Proper hydration is crucial, especially during exercise. Drink water before, during, and after your workout to stay hydrated and support your body’s recovery.
  8. Include Rest Days: Give your body time to rest and recover. Rest days are essential for preventing burnout and reducing the risk of overtraining.
  9. Join a Supportive Community: Consider joining a fitness class or group. Having a supportive community can provide motivation, encouragement, and a sense of accountability.
  10. Celebrate Progress: Celebrate your achievements, no matter how small. Recognize and appreciate the positive changes you’re making for your physical and mental health.

 Exercise That Also Builds Community

Engaging in exercises that build community can enhance your overall well-being and make the experience more enjoyable. Here are some good ways to exercise that also foster a sense of community:
  1. Group Classes: Joining group fitness classes, whether in-person or online, can provide a sense of camaraderie. Classes like yoga, spin, or aerobics often create a supportive community atmosphere.
  2. Team Sports: Participating in team sports such as basketball, soccer, or volleyball not only offers physical activity but also fosters teamwork and social connections.
  3. Running or Walking Clubs: Many communities have running or walking clubs where individuals come together regularly for group runs or walks. This provides an opportunity to exercise while socializing with others who share similar interests.
  4. Outdoor Fitness Bootcamps: Joining outdoor fitness bootcamps or group workouts in parks can be a fun and social way to stay active. These sessions often include a mix of cardio and strength training exercises.
  5. Cycling Groups: If you enjoy cycling, consider joining a cycling group. Group rides allow you to explore new routes while connecting with fellow cyclists.
  6. Community Sports Leagues: Many areas have community sports leagues for various sports. Joining a league can provide regular exercise and the chance to build lasting friendships.
  7. Social Dance Classes: Dance classes, such as salsa or swing dancing, offer a combination of physical activity and social interaction. It’s a fun way to stay active while connecting with others.
  8. Fitness Challenges: Participating in fitness challenges with friends, family, or coworkers can create a sense of friendly competition and mutual support. Set goals together and celebrate achievements.
  9. Volunteer for Fitness Events: Many charity runs, walks, or fitness events welcome volunteers. Volunteering not only supports a good cause but also allows you to meet like-minded individuals.
  10. Fitness Meetup Groups: Explore local fitness meetup groups where people gather for specific activities like hiking, trail running, or outdoor workouts. These groups often welcome newcomers and provide a supportive environment.
  11. Social Media Fitness Communities: Joining online fitness communities on platforms like Facebook or Instagram can connect you with people who share your fitness goals. You can exchange tips, progress updates, and encouragement.
  12. Community Recreation Centers: Local recreation centers often offer group fitness classes, sports leagues, and recreational activities. Check out what your community center has to offer in terms of fitness programs.

Remember, the key is to find activities that you enjoy and that align with your fitness goals. Building a community around exercise not only makes the experience more enjoyable but also provides social support, motivation, and accountability.

How do I find these groups?

Finding exercise and fitness groups in your community can be done through various channels. Here are some ways to discover these groups:
  1. Online Platforms:
    • Check for local fitness and exercise groups on Meetup. This platform allows you to search for groups based on your interests and location.
    • Facebook Groups: Search for local fitness or exercise groups on Facebook. Many communities have dedicated groups for organizing group workouts, classes, or sports events.
  2. Local Community Centers:
    • Visit your local community or recreation center. These centers often host group fitness classes, sports leagues, and recreational activities. Inquire about their current offerings and schedules.
  3. Sports Clubs and Leagues:
    • Check with local sports clubs or leagues for information on team sports. Whether it’s soccer, basketball, or volleyball, these organizations often organize group activities.
  4. Fitness Studios and Gyms:
    • Inquire at local fitness studios and gyms about group classes and community events. Many places offer classes like yoga, spin, or bootcamps that promote a sense of community.
  5. Outdoor Events:
    • Attend outdoor events like charity runs, walks, or fitness festivals. These events often attract individuals interested in fitness and can be a great way to meet like-minded people.
  6. Community Bulletin Boards:
    • Check community bulletin boards at local grocery stores, libraries, or community centers. Many groups post flyers or announcements about upcoming fitness activities.
  7. Word of Mouth:
    • Ask friends, coworkers, or neighbors if they know of any local fitness groups. Personal recommendations can lead you to established and welcoming communities.
  8. Online Forums and Websites:
    • Explore online forums related to fitness or health in your area. Websites like Reddit may have local subreddits where people discuss and organize fitness activities.
  9. Fitness Apps:
    • Some fitness apps have community features where you can connect with others in your area. Explore the social aspects of fitness apps to find local groups.
  10. Local Parks and Recreation Events:
    • Parks and recreation departments often organize community events and activities. Attend these events to discover local fitness groups or classes.
  11. Cultural or Community Centers:
    • Check with cultural or community centers that may offer group activities or classes. These centers often host diverse programs that cater to different interests.
  12. Ask at Local Sports Stores:
    • Visit local sports stores and inquire about community sports leagues or group activities. Store staff may have information about local fitness communities.

When exploring these options, keep an open mind and be willing to try different activities until you find a group that aligns with your interests and goals. Don’t hesitate to reach out to organizers or group members to get more information and ensure a smooth transition into the community.

Sober Programming at the Phoenix in Denver

The Phoenix is a non-profit organization that provides fitness activities and a sober active community for individuals in recovery from substance use. They offer a variety of programs and events to support those seeking a sober and healthy lifestyle. Their programming is generally free to the recovery community, and includes yoga classes, group hikes, fitness classes, climbing meetups and more! For their latest offerings, check them out at

For more information on recovery and our programs, call us for a no-cost consultation.