When I was actively drinking, I was often ill with vodka flu (the AA vaccine works well to prevent this), and frequently resided in the sub-basement of the house of physical fitness. Stopping drinking was a good start to restore my health. But early in recovery I decided to do something active to promote good health in sobriety. I began to eat nutritious food, get appropriate rest and exercise regularly.
About a year after I got sober I bought a really nice Tunturi indoor exercise bike, with a whisper-quiet magnetic belt , high-end comfort seat, and a digital readout that recorded time and mileage ridden. I even set it up with a reading rack to read a newspaper, magazine or book while exercising. I decided that I would try to ride (figuratively speaking) all the way around the U.S. (maybe some grandiose thinking, but then I was still in my early years of recovery).
I exercised several days a week on the bike, adding stretching for flexibility and weight-lifting for muscle and bone strength. Each day I rode, I recorded my mileage on a log sheet. One day at a time it has added up. And now, seven and a half years later, I've ridden the entire perimeter of the United States, over 11,000 miles.
I plan to continue exercising because the resulting benefits to my physical and mental health have been so positive over the years. I hear many alcoholics in meetings talk about the importance of spiritual recovery--and that is essential; and they share about mental recovery from alcoholism--that, too, is a key component. But to my mind, physical recovery is an often-neglected element of recovery.
Nowadays, with ever-advancing age, which adds up one day at a time, I am beginning to feel the deep, interior tectonic shifts and rumblings of changes in my body. In recovery, I can be fully aware of this. Medical and dental checkups seldom end with the cheery message "Every day, in every way, you're getting better and better."
But I am growing younger in spirit, and God continues his work of "restoring what the locusts have eaten." I used to be more like the alcoholic in the old joke who didn't know what he wanted, but knew he wanted a lot of it. I had the two other diseases connected with alcoholism, "More" and "Right Now". These days, I am slowly learning (the time it takes to make progress indirectly helps to teach patience) to be content with my circumstances and am much less restless, irritable and discontent.
Make of this what you will.