Best Exercise To Do After A Binge

binge eating disorder best exercise after a binge for recovery

What’s the best exercise to do after a binge?

It’s common to feel really bloated, really lethargic, really sick after a binge.

And it’s very easy to think that you need to go do some gruelling cardio or super high-intensity workout to burn it off and to make yourself feel better.

And there’s this kind of desperate urge to try and do it ASAP.

Why I Don’t Do Cardio After A Binge

In my own experience that actually only ever makes me feel worse.

I think even though I know that that heavy feeling, that bloated feeling, it will go away after a couple of days, in the immediate aftermath of a binge, I tend to feel like my fitness has gone backwards by weeks or months or even years.

And it’s also worth bearing in mind that usually a binge, when you have binge-eating disorder, is a response to an emotional trigger. And there’s a good chance that:

  • You’re still dealing with whatever emotions caused that binge in the first place, and
  • You’re now also dealing with the emotions that you’re feeling after having gone through that binge.

So really from an exercise point of view, I always say it should be focused more on helping you restore your mindset, restore your mental wellbeing back to a point where you can cope with the rest.

My Recommended Best Exercise After A Binge

So for me, my exercise of choice tends to be walking.

I really started to get into it at the start of the pandemic when gyms closed and now I’m very comfortable putting on a podcast, walking for a good two, two and a half, even three hours. And just enjoying that time to myself. It’s not like a hike, it’s not a brisk or strenuous walk.

It could just be that much time, a very gentle pace.

It makes me feel better. It gives me some time to myself. It helps me move. It clears my head, it helps me process the emotions I’m going through.

So, all in all, it’s a really good win for me. And it doesn’t stir up the food that’s already sitting in my gut that I’m trying to shift.

Also something like yoga or mobility or some light stretching. It helps calm me down. It helps slow down my thoughts and it really helps me sort of focus my attention where it needs to be.

How I Let My Body Recover After A Binge

I have tried cardio and HIIT as my post-binge exercise options. And they just don’t do it for me. At that point, it needs to be more about the mental side than the physical side in terms of what you choose for exercise.

I let the physical side kind of take care of itself through my nutrition, through my hydration, through my sleep. And just focusing on improving my body’s digestion as well.

But like I always say we’re all different. The exercise you choose after a binge is a lot more down to your mental wellbeing. So any exercise that you can do safely that gives you a mood lift is going to be a good choice.

So What Is The Best Exercise After A Binge?

And what that means is that there isn’t a single best exercise in my view.

As long as it’s something you enjoy, as long as it’s going to lift your mood, as long as it’s going to help your mental wellbeing, and as long as you can do it safely, that’s pretty much an all-around win.

So if you exercise regularly, that’s a good choice.

If You Don’t Exercise Regularly

If you don’t exercise regularly, now that’s a whole separate topic.

I always say that you should do what feels right for you and that includes whether you exercise or not.

But I also do strongly feel that everyone should be able to find some exercise that they can and will enjoy doing.

But like I said, that’s a whole separate topic.

For the time being, if you don’t enjoy exercising regularly, then I would say just find yourself something that you enjoy doing, that you find genuinely fun and focus on doing that instead.

Something that’s going to not necessarily distract you, but just take you out of your current environment.

If it was me, I would go to the cinema.

That’s a completely separate escapist setting.

I can’t check my phone. I mean, I can, but I’m not one of those obnoxious people that starts opening up their phone in the middle of the film.

And it just allows you that time to kind of just get out of where you are and give yourself that sort of mental reset. But it could be anything, something that you find fun to do.

The Final Word And Exercise After A Binge

binge eating disorder best exercise after a binge for recovery

There isn’t a single best exercise.

I recommend doing whatever’s going to help your mental health the most.

On the physical side – I can understand the desperate urge to try and resolve that ASAP as well. How you eat, how you drink, how you look after your physical wellbeing in terms of what you’re putting in your body after that – that’s going to have a much bigger impact than the specific exercise you do.

So use the exercise to give yourself that mental boost more than anything else. And that’s why there isn’t a single best exercise. It’s down to what feels best for you.

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