178: No Pain, No Cocaine – Exercise in Recovery (Sort Of)


We are talking all about the role of exercise in recovery. How does movement assist our goal of recovery? In what ways can we seek fitness that will help us on the path to feeling more whole? We talk about how physical activity has been show to create greater results than therapy. We explore the benefits to mental health from getting endorphins going. We explore what kinds of exercise might be best for your wellness. Listen in as we explore holistic health through fitness, and then share your thoughts with us.

exercise in addiction recovery

From the episode:

⁠Phoenix⁠

⁠Exercise quiz 1⁠

⁠Exercise quiz 2⁠

Episodes mentioned:

⁠Technology addiction⁠

⁠⁠Polyvagal Theory⁠⁠

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Transcript:

recovery sort of is a podcast where we discuss recovery topics from the perspective of people living in long-term recovery this podcast does not intend to represent the views of any particular group organization or Fellowship the attitudes expressed are solely the opinion of its contributors be advised there may be strong language or topics of an adult nature [Music]

welcome back it’s sort of I have Jason and I exercise and I’m Billy I’m a person in long-term recovery I’m Jenny I’m also a person in long-term recovery I’m Caroline and I’m also a person in long-term recovery and we’re talking about exercise why because I don’t know because it’s good because it’s great yeah no there’s a you know probably if you have uh struggled with substance use or or struggled with your life someone along the way whether it be a doctor a parent a caregiver somebody has suggested probably to get into some form of movement or exercise or physically using your body because there’s something about physically using our bodies that is apparently really good for us so that’s what we’re here to talk about Caroline I think you’re gonna steal the show here so go for it yeah for sure so um yeah I mean I think at this point it’s it’s really like I like I started pulling information for this episode and the the amount of resources that are out on the internet right now that that kind of validate this idea that exercises like such a critical piece of health and well-being is it’s it’s just it’s it’s a mess um but I pulled a couple of things in so like you know from a couple of reputable sources the CDC which is Centered for Disease Control um says that being Physically Active can improve your brain health help manage weight reduce the risk of disease strengthen bone bones and muscles and improve your ability to do everyday activities um so it says adults who sit less and do any amount of moderate to vigorous physical activity gain some health benefits only a few lifestyle choices have this have as large an impact on your health as physical activity so then um you know kind of diving in a little bit more so we’re exercise is great for physical health I think people have known that for a really long time like that’s not the Shocker um I think it’s the part about your mental health that’s become to the Forefront a little bit a little bit more recently so the NHS which is the National Health something

um yeah and they’re over in the UK they say that research shows that physical activity can boost self-esteem mood Sleep Quality and energy as well as reducing your risk of stress clinical depression dementia and Alzheimer’s um so you know there’s like I said there’s there’s tons of research that validates this um a meta meta-analysis um so that’s that’s uh you know a researcher basically went in and pulled a bunch of meta-analyzes which is you know other researchers that have pulled other people’s research so this is like three steps back right um looked at a hundred meta reviews of randomized controlled uh trials and found um that physical activity should be viewed as a first choice treatment for people living with mental health issues so uh this this this meta-analysis found that essentially all forms of exercise produce significant mental health benefits and that shorter high intensity exercise programs produce the greatest effect um so then just a couple of more facts physical activity produced a median reduction in mental health issues from 42 to 60 percent where it’s whereas Psychotherapy and pharmacist psycho pharmacotherapy produced a much smaller Improvement between 22 to 37 so Jason all of your clients should just go exercise so

um and then I thought this was interesting too so it says um for people who are older than like 45 or older or deconditioned right which I don’t think is really any of us right deconditioned means I had to Google that but that means basically if you’re out of shape so over over the age of 45 and or out of shape many studies show that walking 20 to 40 minutes each day was particularly effective for improving depression and anxiety so I thought that was really interesting right because that’s like a super super simple thing to do 20 to 40 minutes you could even go around too big of a commitment no no no just saying it’s super simple oh yeah for some people okay okay fair fair it’s not a lot of time but finding the time and having that commitment is yeah yeah well and I think Jason’s probably talking about people who are depressed strong yeah the population that’s going to be most helped by this is the population that can’t seem to do it yeah that’s fair that’s fair um so I guess let me pause there I just dumped a bunch oh my god did you yeah and and um just ask like does that does that resonate for you guys yes I mean it it resonates in the sense that yes I believe that that movement and you know ah may be challenging our body or pushing our body a little bit or or just there’s something about moving that we need right and I ain’t got all that figured out or know exactly what it is but yes I totally agree the times in my life when I have a regular amount of movement that is going on I’m generally happier well better you know better off uh nicer to people around me like there’s definitely something so I don’t disagree with any of that yeah and what I saw was you know what stuff I was looking up when you do regular exercise it also increases your endorphins which contribute to your happiness so that I mean there is like an actual chemical process going on where you’re making more of a chemical that helps you feel better about yourself and your brain naturally so like for me I got into exercise it was never really overweight I had always been thin but I was looking for something I realized I had a lot of stress social anxiety with work and I just needed some outlet for that stuff so I started for those reasons and it’s helped tremendously you know for like just stress and anxiety and in My overall mood feeling better somewhere to like burn off that excess [  ] you know whatever that is that’s what I was thinking too was the endorphins like I don’t uh does it do dopamine too is that one yes okay yeah and um so I didn’t get into regular exercise till after I got sober and I just noticed that when I started doing regular exercise I was just calmer because I’m I’m the anxiety one too and so it just made me my whole body feel like softer I guess like just more relaxed and I was less likely to overthink something less likely to yell at my kids less likely to get spun up about some kind of situation like basically if I pooped my body out like if I if I exhausted my body it wasn’t going to go into overdrive in the wrong way and so I just tried to keep up with it yeah it really feels like and and this isn’t a judgment but I’m relating to pieces of my life where I guess I’ve found a solution and it’s been something that like okay I can’t wait for 10 years for maybe a better solution because I need to change this Behavior now and be a better person now but I don’t know necessarily that that also sounds like the best version of getting there right like hey I’m really struggling in my life but if I just beat the [  ] out of my body and wear it the [  ] down I ain’t got nothing left to be stressed so okay that’ll like that doesn’t sound like the healthiest version the [  ] out of it you know like a gentle mess method just takes the edge off and maybe you do need more maybe you do need therapy you’re like um some kind of antidepressant or anti-anxiety meds you know like but it kind of took the edge off and you know maybe my case wasn’t that extreme or just my family took the brown of it you know like yeah and I’m not I’m not saying it’s a a terrible strategy right I don’t I think it could be part of a strategy for sure because in my mind what’s really happening is we all have these nervous systems survival reactions throughout every day some more than others some maybe that looks like 23 hours and 56 minutes of their day right some people it’s like half the time some people it’s less but you’re having this excess survival energy flooded into your system throughout your day and to again different intensity levels like most of this you’re not gonna notice because you already do it every day and it just feels like life right but there is this excess nervous system survival energy being flooded into your system and exercise is going to give you an outlet to kind of do that sort of like if you were in the Sahara and you ran into the lion right and you run the hell away you’ve done your exercise and now the the survival reaction can go away because you’ve expended the energy from it I guess so there is a piece of it that kind of needs to happen it’s just what are we doing after we calm our nervous system to try to help ourselves not have the same intensity level of reaction next time so that we don’t have to keep doing that that cycle yeah totally so it requires like the inner work of like I guess you know in my case it was facing why would I want to yell at my kids like what am I what am I not uh dealing coping with well you know and so it did take that work too which all happened in those years after I quit drinking well I think just like for overall health like if you’re thinking of exercise say for like weight or overall health just exercising alone isn’t the only like that’s not going to fix it all on its own like if you say I change nothing else but I just exercise it’s probably not going to work you know for you and it same as with mental health like I just can’t go oh I’m just gonna go walk for 20 minutes a day and now all of a sudden that’s gonna fix all my mental health issues that’s not really you know it takes a little more than that to get I guess lasting effects are more impactful effects like it’s a good foundation or a good place to start but also even if you think of okay walking for 20 minutes like if if you can make that commitment like that’s a I want to say I don’t want to say easy but like simple commitment that you can make like I could probably find 20 minutes to go outside and walk around the block even to go to a therapist well I gotta find a therapist then I gotta make an appointment and I gotta wait till Tuesday at four o’clock and then Tuesday at four o’clock do I feel like going to that appointment and it’s an hour and then I gotta drive there and drive back so now it’s two hours and [  ] that I don’t have that kind of time you know y’all don’t talk to many depressed people do you because it’s cold outside all winter and then it’s rainy and it’s windy and I don’t have anywhere to walk this yeah and there’s no sidewalks and like there’s a [  ] ton of reasons not to walk to but the mall is a really that’s so that’s like I feel like that’s the thing you always see the old people at the mall walking they they know what’s up right like that’s a good place that would be a terrible place for my wife to go I’m just saying like she gets relief as much out of shopping as she does out of physical movement so I’m not gonna like that’s like saying you know take me to the pastry shop or something and I’ll walk around it like that’s not gonna work well and I just mean on levels of things that you’re going to commit to you know like on on levels I mean obviously to do it take some sort of effort some sort of commitment and in my life that’s always been the heart like I’ve been really great at starting things and then terrible at like following through like I’ll start for a week two weeks maybe a month and then like a month in all the excuses start and all the the things that I’ve been running into oh the the Gym’s too busy and there’s too many people there or it’s cold outside or it’s raining today like that’ll start you know but it is fairly low and for me personally being a person that has a lot of like social anxieties and [ __ ] like I don’t have to talk to anybody at all when I exercise you know I don’t have to talk to one single person I put my headphones on I don’t talk to a person I just go to where people aren’t in the gym what’s hilarious about that to me is I was just sitting here while you were talking Billy and thinking I guess if people are like doing this in a way that’s connecting that’s probably good for them and before you stopped you’re like nope that’s not how I’m doing it

no I mean I so the studies guys I mean the the studies that I found a few things one is that it doesn’t have to it it’s all types of exercise so that’s really like if you’re someone that likes to have that camaraderie and you want it to be like a team event that’s great if you’re someone who wants that Solitude that works as well but I think you know one of the things that’s emerging in the research is if you’re going to do a single thing exercise should be at because it is the single most effective it’s amazing okay well the Meta Meta analysis disagrees with you well but what you just said was that that information said that it has uh looked at that difference of people working out in a camaraderie type situation versus people working out alone and I don’t know that any of your meta-analysis actually looked at that yeah no I’m not claiming that they did what they looked at is a variety of studies of studies and those studies all had different uh treatments right so so they found that across the board no matter how they defined exercise or what that exercise looked like it was beneficial to the participants have they have they done it where they tested people who did exercise alone versus exercise in a group setting so that was not within my research I’m sure that that research exists and my guess is that it would you’d get increased benefits right um but yeah I did not I did not read every one of the studies that was examined volunteer for that it sounded like you were you were given that idea that um yeah I don’t know I have I have used exercise as a part of my recovery but it did not stem from a place of like I want to be healthier now that I’m not shooting heroin and cocaine it was more like I have felt small and weak my whole life which is part of my problem so if I go to the gym and get bigger I will one look good and feel better about myself which isn’t necessarily a terrible idea but but also too I got bigger and didn’t have to feel well I thought I wouldn’t have to feel quite as scared anymore it didn’t quite work out yeah it doesn’t work that way no no I just felt scared but then people generally didn’t bother me so that was a nice little caveat that’s what inspired me to go and I I mean I think that almost an obsession level right like I mean I was using exercise or the gym or or the things I was getting from it the same way I was using everything else in my life to to try to not feel so terrible which I think is actually whatever human is doing we’re all seeking this relief from this bad feeling we have so that’s the one I chased and you know it’s evolved over time it doesn’t look like that anymore but still do it because I like the way it feels I guess yeah I mean I think when I look at all of the ways that that we as humans can cope and especially the people in this room like we had some really unhealthy and and quite honestly like fatal ways of coping um exercise for me feels immensely better than that uh so for me I two things right like exercise on a regular basis keeps me feeling better in general like if I I can start to feel my mood if it’s like been like five or six days and I haven’t done any physical activity I can I can map my mood against that but then also as like a coping mechanism when I’m really feeling [  ] that is so much healthier than pretty much anything else I can do like if I’m feeling like just like awful and hating the way I feel and feeling like I need to do something to get out of that going to the gym and running for 30 or 40 minutes or walking out my door and running for 30 or 40 minutes is so much healthier for me than pretty much anything else that I could choose to try to feel better in that moment and and it’s accessible that’s the other thing that came up Billy when you were talking about like the ability to go and walk for 20 minutes versus going to see a therapist and and the therapist is like you have to wait till that day that you’re scheduled but I can go and exercise like at any point in time I can I I mean I belong to a 24-hour gym so you know if I’m feeling [  ] at nine o’clock at night I can still go to the gym and and feel better when I leave um so that’s one of the things that I think for me like I has become like a really helpful um resource in that way I find it interesting the way you describe that and I’m not again this is not from a place of judgment or criticism it’s just a curiosity like that doesn’t sound any different than the way we use drugs yeah but running is healthy for me and has benefits and is not going to kill me versus shooting heroin I mean people die from heart attacks running and and yes we say it’s healthier but we’re also doing damage to our knees and our back while we’re doing it so it’s not completely scot-free I think we like to look at it that way but the truth is like what you said was when I feel away I can’t tolerate I have to run off and do this thing and I’m like I don’t know are we really changing our patterns and Cycles if we’re just replacing one thing with another and I’m not again I’m not arguing that exercise is not way [  ] better to do when you’re not feeling well than heroin right that’s not the point here I’m just saying like it’s still that same cycle I feel a feeling I don’t feel the ability to sit still with it and actually just feel it or express it so now I’m gonna run and do a thing or I’m gonna run and buy a thing or I’m gonna run and eat a thing or like what’s the difference yeah and I I think that’s the I don’t know that there is a huge difference in terms of their reaction but the outcome is different right because because again I mean I do believe yes okay my knees may be when I’m 80 are gonna be in worse shape than if I hadn’t ran and I was five maybe but in the in the grand scheme of things like that’s helping me get through those days sometimes you know and if that is especially like when we think about people in early recovery if anything that you’re doing to help you cope and not go back to using is gonna help you in the long run because then you still have that opportunity the next day possibly I mean that’s the one side of the theory right I guess the other side of the theory would be if we continue in the same cycle we’re actually closer to going back and using that other thing when exercise stops working or when we hurt ourselves and can’t move for three months we’re still in that cycle of oh I don’t feel good I can’t sit still with it let me run to a thing that might be setting us up to go back to using more so like a we can look at that from either side yeah I mean that’s and I’m not trying to argue that exercise is bad for anybody I’m just I I don’t know that that’s necessarily I feel like that idea like I think of it because that’s not why I exercise at like my coming to exercise was completely different than any of that but it’s to me the way Caroline’s described it it’s more like uh harm reduction kind of thing like when we look at harm reduction when it relates to drug use it’s not like we don’t look at people that are on a maintenance program or doing something else and be like well they’re just as close to using as ever we’re like no that’s better like you’re doing a better thing than what you would be out using street drugs or managing unreasonably so you know is it the ideal state of a human being probably not but it’s definitely healthier safer and better than what we would normally do so yeah yeah well I’m not I’m not arguing the harm reduction aspect of it I think Caroline was presenting the idea that this was the best possible thing she could do in that scenario so I challenged that I don’t know that it’s the best thing we can do I think it’s a good alternative to drugs probably a good alternative to like overeating snacks right probably a good alternative to buying [  ] you don’t need like but I just don’t know that it’s necessarily the best practice what you’re describing is what I would call trading addictions and so I’ve seen a lot of people come into recovery and then they go right into like a hardcore exercise program and like CrossFit yes yeah and like just kind of overdo it and then um you just know that they’re just like running from something still you know like and I mean I’m not their sponsor or they’re not asking my advice but you could just tell they’re just trying to burn something away you know you see it with the guys it’s the gym rats and then they’re taking steroids I used to see groups of guys in AAA like like when a new camera came in you know maybe one of them became their sponsor and they would just you know fold them into the click like all right now we’re all going to the gym you know like gym tanning laundry or whatever and um so I saw that a lot but I mean but then there’s some people that just run away with it but actually Jason what you described is like kind of like the low drama trading addictions it doesn’t have to be the guy that’s like totally working out every day and like got huge you know like or the the gal who like runs marathons now like those are the extremes but what you described is kind of like the low-key trading addictions and that happens too and I can’t say I’m innocent from that I definitely think when I started running which was in my like second year of recovery it it kind of did feel like I was running from something like I was like I’m a new person somebody who exercises and I’m gonna do really awesome at this and I’m gonna prove that I am not that person I used to be my running has since chilled out [Music] did it make your life unmanageable so I feel like that for me that’s that’s that’s a really important bar when I think about like what I’m what am I doing and is it an unhealthy coping mechanism Jason’s gonna argue with this too I I’m I’m already preparing I’m here to argue with everything but yes yes yes indeed um um is like doesn’t make my life unmanageable this actually came up I was in a meeting last week and a guy was talking about like trading addictions and he goes to the gym and he was like jacked but I’m like to me like there there’s there’s healthy coping mechanisms and then there’s addiction and addiction makes my life I don’t know we just keep calling all this stuff different words eating over there we got healthy coping skills over here and and it’s all the same in my head man we are [  ] chickens chickens peck at the ground because they need food but their brain doesn’t say you need food their brain says food feel good food feel good and so they Peck all day long that is like their only pleasure sensor food period right so they just do it all day long pack it to [  ] around say dirt bath too okay

so that’s all we’re doing we’re all a version of a chicken seeking relief but for everybody because of the story we got and because of the way our nervous system was programmed that relief looks different for everybody it’s all the same [  ] thing whether you’re seeking heroin whether you’re seeking a run whether you’re seeking a food there’s no difference we’re all just seeking relief we’re all just seeking that pleasure that reward system so I don’t know but again that works for it but like now I know what that tweet was about I would argue the difference is like is it making my life better or worse and drugs overeating over shopping make my life worse well and this is a theory I heard one time it’s it’s not really to argue it’s more to agree with almost what you’re saying or maybe just give it a different perspective that as human beings like before we got into current modern society that we have like we were responsible to go out and we had to exercise for survival we had to go hunt our own food we had to go you know build our own house we had to do all this stuff for ourselves and through that we got physical activity you know we also had like you were talking about like real true life stresses we were running from saber-toothed tigers or whatever the hell we were running from that might want to eat us and we were hunting and Gathering our food and doing all these things and now all that shit’s gone so all our stresses are these artificial stresses we’re not physically challenging ourself so that causes us to create all this artificial stress and stimulation so that by getting back into more physical activities um the guy that was talking about this said he thinks everyone should go out and like set a goal that they know they’re going to fail at like just decide like I’m gonna run a marathon in a month and then just try to just start working towards that and set yourself up to like really stress yourself and maybe it’s not run a marathon maybe it’s swim you know five miles I don’t like to run because like you said it’s bad for your knees and [  ] and ankles you can swim you can do other stuff but he would the idea was we need to create these stresses on our own it gives us that mental resilience that mental um neuroplasticity that we can you know push ourselves the challenges that it’s okay to fail that it’s okay to come up short but we’re working towards things and that helps to combat some of this artificial like there’s too many traffic lights on the way to work or there’s too many people on the street when I drive like the stresses we can create on our own are healthier for us than the ones we might run into in a stressful City Life yeah I mean I think that absolutely makes sense from an evolutionary perspective um so let’s talk about why because I found some stuff about you know like why why regular exercise is is found to help with all of these mental health uh issues that we struggle with so this is from the Mayo Clinic and they said um it releases field good endorphins which you guys had said which are natural cannabis-like brain chemicals and other natural brain chemicals that can enhance yourself of well-being it can take your mind off your worries so that’s so funny that they use cannabis as the Baseline

take your mind off your worries so you can get away from the cycle of negative thoughts that feed depression and anxiety we can also help you gain confidence meeting exercise goals or challenges even small ones can boost your self-confidence getting in shape can also make you feel better about your appearance it can you can get more social interaction if if you’re not Billy and you want to uh you know meet and socialize with other people just exchanging a friendly smile or greeting as you walk around your neighborhood can help your mood and it can help you cope in a healthy way doing something positive to manage depression or anxiety is a healthy coping strategy trying to feel better by drinking alcohol dwelling on how you feel or hoping depression or anxiety will go away on its own can lead to worsening symptoms so you know and I think you know we’ve talked a lot about running but um that’s kind of my like I need like that like I I need to like just get it out but I think for me like there’s other so I talked there’s almost like I have like a maintenance program of exercise so I hike a lot um and and then I also do yoga and then I just kind of like throw running in there when when the mood strikes but um one of the things that I think with all of those things that I found that has been like a helpful in addition to the physical activity is this feeling of accomplishment right so like within any of those kind of three things that I’m doing I’m kind of setting targets for myself and I’m able to see I’m able to see Improvement and that’s a really good feeling too right like when I’m consistently I I’ve talked about like my chaturangas like I I want to be I want you know like I can I can Target things I can say like this is an area where I want to see Improvement and I can focus on it and then when I get that um it’s really helpful I watched um I watched a movie in 2020 I think it’s called like Britney runs a marathon and it was this girl who like had been like feeling like very um like a lack of Direction in her life and like just kind of depressed and she decided she was going to run I think like the New York Marathon or the Boston Marathon and and I watched that movie and it like inspired me and so that year I set a goal to run a 5k and then so like when I started like I couldn’t run at all like run them for like four minutes right and and I got an app like it was like couch to 5K and I did this app and then I I ran a 5K and like that that feeling of accomplishment of like I started and I couldn’t do this thing and then I worked on it and now I can do this thing that’s a really good feeling and I think um that’s something that that has helped me so I I tend to do that kind of in whatever physical activity that I’m gonna and I thought about that and maybe Jason you’d be the best to answer this from like a therapy point of view like how beneficial is it just that I’m a person that goes okay I’m gonna do this good thing for myself now I’m gonna take care of myself and give this thing of self-love by do an exercise like that’s gotta be some kind of benefit to depression right yes yes absolutely there’s a a ton of pieces of the way you just laid it out that are yeah were beneficial for us right one the first thing that’s got to happen in order for you to decide you’re going to do some program of exercise is coming to a place of deciding you’re unhappy with your current physical environment or life or something about it and that you also want to do something about it and that you’re also ready to do something about it so like you have done taking yourself through a couple of the stages of change just to get to that point to make the choice and then to work through all the general like this this Society World machine out here has way too many [  ] demands on each individual person at this point so in order to choose yourself over all those demands and how they make us feel that’s a big step right because now you’re taking like self-responsibility and feeling like you’re an agent in your own life you’re not just like at the whim of what everybody’s telling you or what you have to do so yeah all those steps and then the fact that when you exercise you are going to lessen your nervous system survival response you’re going to wear it out some and for most of us who don’t even know we’re there that just feels better we’re like oh I feel better because I worked out right like yeah you’ve lowered the [  ] survival response and now you’re in a calm State and your prefrontal cortex can take over so you don’t get stuck in that cycle of shitty thinking more as frequently as you used to you come out of it right so a ton of good stuff that can happen from exercise and then caveat I run even though I’m sitting here saying running is not good for you and the human body is generally not built to run it’s built to walk I still run here and there like I things we do right I have a regular program of exercise that keeps me feeling good in my body or about my body or whatever the hell it’s doing so it’s like yeah I have these challenging questions about what we’re doing but I don’t think it’s bad I don’t I’m not sitting here saying nobody should go exercise like please go out and [  ] do something for your body so I have two quizzes about you know figuring out what a good type of exercise for for you would be I thought both of these were good when I took them so I was thinking Jenny maybe I’ll have you take one and then maybe one of the guys and then hopefully you know our listeners will be able to relate to to the answers of at least one of these quizzes and if you don’t relate at all then um Jason will link these quizzes and you can just go take your own version yeah I uh I think one of the things that I try to express to people that I’m working with when they talk about wanting to start some form of exercises I think as our society we’ve kind of programmed ourselves that it has to look these certain ways right there’s if you’re a guy you got to go lift heavy weights and try to get bigger and muscular and stuff and if you’re a female you’re trying to get Slimmer or do more yoga or more cardio like movement can be whatever the [  ] you want it to be it does not have to be in a gym it can be walking through the woods it can be in your backyard chasing your kids around playing tag it can be anything that feels good and involves moving like so don’t pigeonhole yourself into it must look like this I have to do this version right it could be you like team sports go [ __ ] join soccer or softball or like there’s no wrong way to get movement so don’t feel like there’s one special way so I like the idea of this yeah so this first one is called which fitness activity suits you Jenny you want to be my guinea pig Fitness that sounds awesome right some spells in there okay

I wonder if she picked me for this one if you could choose one place to work out where would it be outdoors did you say a moose the moon oh I want to work out on the moon it’ll be easy

a calm quiet Studio a loud bustling Studio or at home Outdoors okay what intensity physical activity do you like moderate intensity these activities will make you feel warmer breathe harder and make your heart beat faster than usual but you should still be able to carry on a conversation or vigorous intensity these activities will make you feel warmer breathe much harder and make your heart beat rapidly making it more difficult to carry on a conversation moderate yes

do you like exercising to music yes

um Jason’s like I want to take it I’m a part of this damn it uh yes yes great Jenny’s but I’m answering yes I do how much are you willing to spend nothing or very little or I’m happy to pay for a class or physical activity nothing or very little okay how much physical activity do you do I don’t do anything at the moment I do some moderate physical activity or I am very active oh but yeah I’m moderate I guess yeah thanks I am feeling the answer for me I don’t know I mean exercise like three or four times

well we’re going with moderate Jenny because okay my head’s vigorous is like 16 hours of running a day yeah I’m thinking the guy that’s in the gym twice it right Michael Phelps training for the Olympics that’s that’s definitely we’re all chicken and broccoli what would you like to improve balance strength or endurance yes strength after physical activity I like to feel sweaty and like I worked hard that I had a good catch up with friends while I exercised like I had a really good stretch or calm and relaxed yes I’ll go with the stretch not sweaty sweaty and I feel like I did something [Laughter] which fitness activity suits you Pilates Jenny have you ever done I’ve never tried Pilates I like the idea of it so most Pilates exercises can be done on a mat however some classes are completed using equipment it’s a low impact form of exercise so injuries are uncommon and you don’t have to have a high Fitness level to try it um it goes on to talk some more about Pilates but yeah that that is the recommendation Johnny so oh that was my answer that was all right so for Pilates yeah okay you better get on I’ll look at the YMCA schedule Tai Chi is another one that’s similar Tai Chi yeah you can sound like you’re in a martial art and you’re doing something really cool and Asian they used to have they have a Tai Chi at the Y but then uh the pandemic destroyed it I haven’t seen it oh

[Music]

before we uh before we hop into this this next Quiz I I something this is relating to something that’s going on in my life right now I’m just curious what y’all think about it um you know my my wife and I are talking a lot about like our kids especially the older kids at this point and like they’re a lot of Technology usage and laying around on technology whether that’s TV phone pad tablet you know Xbox whatever um and and just talking about like what can we do about it how can we help can we limit the amounts of times on them and and there’s some of that that we can finagle with but I guess what I keep coming back to in the grand scheme of how can we help these kids that are like stuck on Technologies I don’t know that we can I think the world Humanity we have created a system of getting rewards relief and feeling better that is way [  ] better and way less taxing to us than movement right like exercise might have been like I look at my childhood and I’m like oh man we would hate rainy days because you couldn’t go out and run around with your friends and connect right like we were called to go run around because it fed it met that relief need that we’re all looking for right when I said we were chickens earlier we were all looking for that and we weren’t getting it home and our body knew it said man go out and run around with your buddies it’ll feel good right and so we chased that and in 2023 I think our population has [  ] us man we have invented a technology that gives us a better reward than outside and running does with our friends without having to leave our couch and I don’t know that as humans we can out think that [  ] Chicken brain we have I really don’t I think we’re [  ] I would argue that we had that when we were kids too and it was the TV it wasn’t as good it’s getting more powerful yeah and our modern video games but I think for some kids when we were growing up TV was as good as the physical physical exercise there were still kids that absolutely would choose but it’s getting worse the technology is improving like to a way like now games are completely interactive and they spend tons of money to like keep kids hooked in and like even when we were kids with video games and I think we’ve talked about this like you would start a game and it had an end like you could get to the end of a game and you beat the game and then you might go find a new game or whatever else but now games aren’t even like that like the game just is never ending and they keep introducing new little rewards and new little goals that hit exactly those endorphin things you were talking about when you exercise and hit a goal and how great that feels well now you can do that with this oh I met the challenge today on my video game by racking up 35 kills in one day from when the sniper rifle you know and it’s you get that same Rush well and and I don’t know what we’re gonna do about it like I like to think that that all of us are out here like oh we can just out think it we’re humans we’re brilliant and amazing and we can all this great stuff and like the more I look at this the more we are [  ] chickens and just don’t understand it and if we could accept that we are maybe we can do something about that we can use it to our advantage but right now we’re sitting here pressuring our kids to you got to be better than that you gotta want to be off that game and there is nothing in their [  ] physiology that says you want to be off this game so we’re like shaming people about how their body is telling them to be and I don’t know that there’s [  ] we can do about it yeah it’s scary that’s it I’m struggling with that exact thing with my son now like my wife and I talk about it all the time I’m like I can’t get mad at him that he is addicted to these video games in this technology like getting mad and yelling at him come get off his game and shut it off is not I mean it might work for the moment right but it’s not gonna fix the problem the way I’m addressing it as of right now and of course with him he does still play baseball he still plays at least one sport so he is getting and that’s his own choice not we’re not making but I’m glad about that but I just try to tell them like look dude just so you understand like these games are set up to like suck up all your time and suck up all your energy and I get that it’s fun but just be aware like this is what’s going on maybe help you make some other choices or maybe a little bit of like don’t just go into that blindly you know recognize so that hopefully he’s just aware of the time he’s putting in and aware of what’s going on but like yeah that’s I feel like the best I can do at the moment I’m sorry yeah and anytime I challenge my kids about this stuff what it causes is friction between me and them right what I’m doing is ruining my connection and their connection to me which is not going to be healthy for them in the long run so I can’t necessarily challenge it because the reality is you know you say addicted to video games Billy and I take exception with the fact that we keep labeling these things different because I think it’s [  ] up our ability to see them he’s doing the same thing every human and every animal that ever existed is doing doing which is chasing something that feels better than right now that’s what the [  ] we all do at a base level we can’t stop it we can’t control it we act like we can we’re like oh yeah I’m human I’ll out think of that no you’re not going to out think [  ] you’re going to do the next [  ] thing that feels good whether that’s take a drink of alcohol go shoot some heroin play a video game you know for some of us that might be call a friend because we programmed ourselves that that’s our relief but we’re all going to do that and so it doesn’t do me any good to [  ] [  ] up my relationship with my son when he’s doing exactly what I did at that age and he’s doing exactly what my Dad did at his age and exactly what his dad did at his like we’ve all done this we all seek it and if when we grew up this technology existed and all our friends were doing it we would be doing the same thing because we have an internal drive for connection and that’s how people are getting their connection through snapchat through Xbox party chats through place like this is where it is for them and so we can shame them and criticize them all we want but the fact is this is the world we [  ] created we’re putting into it and now we got to figure out a way how to [  ] to not die off honestly like that’s the next goal was how do you not all end up extinct I don’t know sorry I liked Billy’s solution of trying to like empathize and explain the why as opposed to because you were saying like the shaming and criticizing and and just being like no this is this is what you’re gonna you you have to put that away but maybe explaining oh well we did that for a while yeah or I did I can’t say I did that for a while and then I just realized like oh that’s not you know that’s not helpful right it just isn’t I mean an explain is good right we all should know what’s going on right I think that’s helpful to know and understand our body and why it’s seeking this but I I really don’t know the solutions right what I’ve done uh in a similar fashion definitely empathy understanding compassion right no trying to actually see what he’s doing and that it’s no different than what any other human does um and and then what I’ve realized is I would see like my wife and I would be sitting there on our phones texting somebody back and then criticizing my other son on his tablet it’s like oh wait that ain’t gonna [  ] work right how do I teach them something different well first I get off my [  ] technology then I create an environment that looks like fun whether that’s cleaning up the living room while I’m dancing and listening to music or something else and hopefully I can make not technology look like so much fun because we do still have that built-in need for connection right so if I’m connecting with a couple of my family members and we’re playing and laughing the ones that are on technology start drifting over and putting their technology down right so it’s like for me it’s been oh [  ] I gotta actually model and live this if I want my kids to do it [  ] well and there’s is there like a place some so some of escaping reality for a better experience in the moment whatever you want to call it how you describe that I don’t know if I describe that well but some of that’s like fun and healthful and and play if you will like I do that with some other things that I do but I just can’t get caught up in it where it becomes my Escape of all my reality hmm I know like there’s a healthy level there somewhere there’s a balance somewhere I don’t know if you want my answer to this back I would say the healthiest version is if we just did that all the [  ] time we’re not built to go out here and work 40 hours a week our entire [  ] life we’re built to chase what we feel like doing in the next moment because that’s exactly what the [  ] the chickens do oh yeah but I even think of like all right let’s say whatever pick a sport I like baseball all right I want to play baseball well I want to play baseball a lot but not every moment all the time like there’s still some part where I need to take care of my human basic needs and maybe take care of my children or provide food or whatever maybe I I don’t know I think we should be I think truly our body calls for doing the next thing that feels good for us at any moment I don’t know that we actually Escape that I think what we’re trying to do is not do that and I think that’s why we constantly see depression anxiety obesity mental health running rampant in our society it’s not because there’s something wrong with us it’s because there’s something wrong with the way we’re trying to force our body to live that it does not want to yeah I agree with that we don’t want to work 40 hours a week also Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk can be rich and then there can be homeless people like that’s the system we’re subscribing to so I’m not working 40 hours a week okay and I pretty much do whatever I want it feels better than ever doesn’t it during the week it doesn’t feel as good as you would think

[Laughter] [Music]

it’s a lot different doing nothing living in a society that says you’re supposed to be working and God damn it you’re going to run out of money and lose your house Caroline in a few months just a society house like I’m I’m you still worry about it you’ve been stressing about it since you lost your job well now I’m seeing how little I spend and how robust my bank account still is and so I’m like I’m like I’m good I’m good for I got and then you created another situation to have a lot of stress I did do that you know why well never mind I’m getting us all off time from exercise exercise back taxes sorry I’m right this morning okay so I’m disabling systems over here yeah um so the next one is does your workout routine match your goals hmm yeah I don’t feel like this is gonna be the helpful I love belly take it okay Billy all right okay I don’t have no goals I don’t have any goals

what is your experience level I’m new to exercise I work out occasionally or I exercise daily I exercise daily

good for you I could yeah I couldn’t have answered either none of those were right dinner but I don’t know I mean daily probably six days a week that’s fair I mean yeah Billy was the right one to take this because I feel like the question is about the experience level though but then it measures your frequency not your experience level frequency I mean unless you just started exercising daily like two weeks ago yeah but I don’t exercise anywhere near daily but I’ve been doing it for 22 years right and I used to do it daily so like that’s my experience level and that has nothing to do with the frequency option I can’t even remember now I don’t know but it wasn’t anything to do with experience level it was with the frequency wow activity level would have been a better way to phrase would you rather exercise indoors or Outdoors

just just a quick caveat uh in prison they used to have all the weights outside in the yard like under this Pavilion and I’ve always thought since I came home I would much rather do that backyard Pavilion

cold [ __ ] cold I don’t want to be lifting weights in the cold I like the gym I already saw that little corner everybody’s like okay

people are like you love running outside it’s so much better I’m like yeah only when it’s like 65 degrees and sunny like it’s not better when it’s raining and it’s cold or it’s 90. none of those suck okay so you have to pick two of the three options for what are your goals and I already know what they’re going to be but strengthening and toning weight loss or maintaining overall well-being including mental health uh one and three yeah fair enough do you like routine or variety I like to shake it up or I’m a creature of habit variety interesting how do you want to feel after exercising Zen challenged but not exhausted or drenched in sweat and or like I’ve pushed myself harder than ever yeah the three do you like to exercise alone or with others alone we knew that one well it depends so it’s funny though you said that in the other thing and I did realize in the other quiz that you did with Jenny there was a question about that and I did realize I don’t want to talk to people but there is the people that you see there all the time that go at the same and it’s usually like hey what’s happening but I don’t want to interact more than that but you do start to feel like a little bit of a community or a kinship like you almost know each other because you see each other there regularly yeah so I didn’t recognize that kind of like community that comes from that even though we’re not talking intimately yeah I mean I hike and I want to have the woods entirely to myself but then I do yoga or like Jenny and I have done some some workout classes together which has been lovely so I I mean I think it’s lovely lovely but for the most part most of mine is by myself okay so here is what is recommended for you we recommend running resistance training using equipment jumping rope

have you jump rope recently that is so hard it’s pretty awesome

and uh hit in exercises which is high intensity internal training so I do high intensity interval training it’s training mostly with weights but only I do the machines only when I absolutely have to I like free weights better yeah and it says um with equipment including deadlifts over how dumbbell dumbbell presses and dumbbell lateral raises um so yeah it looks like it can be free weights no no running no jumping rope though uh better start I would probably try it now only because I’ve been doing some other stuff I’m trying to get yeah let’s see what it does yeah so those were the two quizzes um we’ll have this Linked In the show notes for anyone who who wants to take one or both I thought they were they were pretty interesting um but yeah I think I don’t know I liked I liked this topic because I know that all four of us are are very active in our own ways and um again like I feel like exercise for me more recently I would say probably starting around the pandemic or maybe a little bit before that really became a bigger part of my um practices for well-being and so I thought it would be um nice to just kind of address that yeah and and one other thing Jason kind of mentioned this too with getting involved in exercise like it doesn’t need to look like a gym membership where you go every day or whatever I started doing Jiu Jitsu we talked about this on a recent episode and it is like physically exhausting you know and we’re not ever in there like doing push-ups or sit-ups or any what you would consider like specific uh thing that would look like exercise but just going through that physical motion doing you know the wrestling type stuff it could be another martial art even where you’re just kicking or using your body in that sort of way um there’s almost dance they had you know they were doing the different versions of dance exercise you know we’re going around for a while like any of those things it can still be like something that you’re interested in that is fun it doesn’t have to be like some boring gym routine yeah and it doesn’t have to cost money either I mean I have I have an app I do yoga at the gym but I also do yoga at home I have an app that I love and there’s a million of them or there’s stuff on YouTube I mean hiking there’s so much stuff that you can do that that you you don’t have to have a gym membership for or I wanna I don’t wanna so I want to plug uh the the Phoenix that’s the one that Caroline and I went to together it’s actually a recovery exercise Club I guess you would call it um that how do I describe it so I they started they work out in a gym but you don’t have to pay anything to go to the gym it’s nice if you donate just like if you donate to any of the you know recovery organizations but you go do like CrossFit stuff and it’s only every two weeks here but there’s Phoenix classes everywhere and it’s like yoga or CrossFit or running or it’s all of them it’s on an app anyway so they started they started one at Cecil County here where we live so me and Caroline went it’s totally fun being with a group of people who are also in recovery it’s something like so I don’t do weights at a gym I’m a little intimidated like I just I don’t know what I’m doing you know and I I don’t really know muscle groups and things even when they say like working your whatever Delta something in like yoga class I’m like what is that like um so you know I’m really like intimidated and scared to go to like the weight part of the YMCA but going to this Phoenix Class they teach you the equipment and how you do it like how you’re supposed to hold your body stuff first of all guys I can’t even hold up a barbell I’m they had to give me a kitty doorbell anyway so I have a lot of room for improvement there um but it’s so nice to be with people in recovery because it’s like you have that we all survived a shipwreck quality so I don’t feel embarrassed that I don’t know anything like if I went to the Y like I don’t I don’t know I don’t know I just wouldn’t I’d be so um that’s been totally fun so we’ve owned a couple classes it’s only every two weeks here so you should do other stuff in between this isn’t going to get you fit going every two weeks but it’s just nice in the variety of things it’s just a good group of people and the I like how it it’s all on an app it’s very modern you can pick your classes you can do virtual classes or there’s like in-person meetups yeah and I think so the closer you are at a major metropolitan areas like I think in the Philly area if if we were willing to drive to Philly there’s stuff it looks like pretty regularly um but then alternatively like I was down south on a like a mini vacation not long ago and I looked on the Phoenix app and there was nothing so it really is very um like region dependent but certainly something we can we can put the link for for that organization up in the show Notes too for anyone who wants to check that out and I think we talked about potentially having someone come on from that organization yeah it’s pretty cool what they’re doing that’s all I got well and Jenny did bring up one important thing like I know for me when I first well

when I first started exercising like I thought oh I just have to go to a gym and I would go in there and lift weights I’ve always been a kind of small guy and I did I felt really weak like I would look around at all these other guys lifting all this heavy stuff and and it was very intimidating like it really was uh you know I I such struggled with like ego stuff that it was really and even now like I’m not a heavy weight lift person and I see all these other people in there lifting all this heavy [  ] and I’m like I’m never gonna get there but it was important for me to figure out to question myself like what are my goals are my goals to be some super big muscle guy no so then stop trying to do that you know figure out things that are in line with my goals and what I’m trying to get out of this not comparing myself to everyone else or what anyone else is doing and that helped a lot for me now I can go in and I don’t pay as much attention to what other people are lifting or even a guy that’s my size like how can he can lift all that heavy [  ] and I can’t lift that heavy stuff like that’ll keep you stuck in the wrong mindset when it comes to exercise comparison is the thief of Joy yeah um so what would we suggest to people I mean I I don’t think we’re giving groundbreaking information about exercise being good for you right like this is probably something most of us kind of know and I think especially as a population that struggles with obesity and you know things of that nature where we’re probably there’s probably a lot of people walking around saying I should be exercising I should be exercising I should start exercising so what could we say for those individuals who already know that exercise is like a positive and a thing that would be better for them but are struggling to start or you know can’t seem to find a way to get into it what kind of suggestions do we have for them take the quiz and then try things you know I think one thing that’s helpful when when you’re struggling to start a routine is to have an accountability buddy so if you can find someone else you know if you’re on social media and you post hey anyone want to start walking with me or having someone that you can you’re both showing up together can be really helpful but try different things you know like you might try have to try three or four different activities before you find something that you like and feel like you can stick with I think it’s it’s challenging and talking about what Billy was talking about like I God this was 15 years ago maybe and I was you know in the gym a lot more and and some more jacked up and heavier and all that good stuff and a guy that worked with me finally like he was a heavier guy but he wanted to go and he talked about it with me and I was like man you should come like let’s go together after work um and he eventually did come a couple times with me but he felt extremely embarrassed being there with me right like we would put the weight on the bench press for me and then we had to take some off for him because he’s just getting into it and he’s like but I’m way bigger than you and I’m so weak and this and I’m like dude it’s it’s not about that like we’re all chasing trying to be a little stronger or more fit or more endurance that’s why we’re here like if we already felt like we had established that we’d all be at home right like we’re all here with the same goal you have man I get it you feel like you’re at a different starting point but that made it easier for him and yet at the same time like that’s hard for a guy to approach somebody who’s already looks like they have a skill or proficiency level at something and say hey like you know what I mean like that’s really challenging but I maybe it maybe the people who are working out can do better at being more inviting to other people in there you know hey if you ever want to come like let’s go or yeah besides the fact that we have different body types people are just built differently so like I’m smaller so now when I go I’m like if I start throwing super heavy [  ] on like I can lift it a couple times but my my body starts hurting my shoulder aches I don’t want to go the next step I’m like that’s not the way that I need to train for me like I’m just not that guy so I can go lighter do more like just figure out what works better for my body type oh super important too and I want to tell people this it took me like 20 years to learn this lesson if you were going to start a workout routine or movement or exercise after listening to this episode please for the love of God start slow don’t [  ] hurt yourself to the point where you can’t move the next three days that is not doing you any good deter you from wanting to go back exactly that’s like the worst thing that’s just easy you are generally barely supposed to know you worked out yesterday the following day like you should not be dying so if you’re doing that don’t do that I don’t know anybody got anything else about it the only other thing I would suggest is find something that you’re interested in that you think is fun um if going to a freaking gym and lifting weights does not sound fun don’t do that you know figure out something else if you like to swim if you like to run if you like to dance if you want to get into a martial art like any kind of physical activity that’s just going to get you moving that’s going to get your heart rate up there’s more low impact stuff like yoga Tai Chi like all that is still exercise and it’s still physical movement and you’re still going to get benefits from it but I’d also say don’t be afraid to try like when I started running I did not think running was going to be fun and I still don’t really think running is fun it’s kind of awful but but you know like I like the end results um and not the end results like how I look but I like the way it makes me feel after I’ve done it um so don’t be afraid to try things either like even if going and lifting weights at the gym sounds terrible like you you try it once or twice you might love it like I think a lot of times especially like when we’re new to to Fitness or anything we don’t even know necessarily what we what we’re gonna like so all right so get out there if you can exercise if you can’t work on getting yourself whatever kind of Assistance or help or support you need to start exercising um and then from there hopefully you will be a calmer more peaceful happier person take care

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