For years, there has been a correlation between healthy living or regular exercise and sobriety. There are hundreds of studies on the subject, on how working out can help prevent substance abuse whether it is alcoholism or drug addiction. There is not much however on how exercise can help you overcome addiction as a method of recovery. Nevertheless, the practice of using exercise to treat problem drinking is becoming increasingly popular.
Now, for many people struggling with sobriety, the gym is the last place they want to be. Often the road to recover is a hard one with many hours spent in sickness and physical pain, so to work out seems unthinkable. The surprising thing is that exercise or physical activity of any kind can ease the symptoms often associated with detox and recovery. This is because physical activity stimulates the release of endorphins in our body. Endorphins are the bodies “natural drug” and they can ease the symptoms of withdrawal.
Looking beyond the “natural high” you get from exercise, it can also help relieve some of the negative effects of giving up your substance of choice. It can help with trouble sleeping if you exercise regularly your body is going to be more tired, and sleep will come easier. It can also ease anxiety and depression. By living healthy and healing your body through exercise you begin to rebuild and repair all the damage done to your body by problem drinking or drug abuse. Further exercise also gives you an outlet in which you can release many difficult pent up emotions such as anger, frustration, and sadness. The term “leave it all on the bar” truly has merit.
If you need more reason to exercise as a method of recovery from alcohol and drug abuse, we have more. The following are a few more reasons to consider hitting the gym as part of your recovery.
Exercise takes time
What we mean by that is, for many people boredom can be a killer when trying to stay away from a substance they were addicted to. Exercise will fill your free time, keeping your mind off the addiction and replacing it with something that can change your life in a very positive way.
Exercise not only heals your body but your mind as well
This is incredibly important considering a large part of addiction is mental. Whether you were trying to drown out the pain or overcome some form of trauma, for many the turn to alcohol and drug abuse had something to do with coping. When you exercise, it gives you an outlet for those emotions that you used to turn to alcohol or drugs cope with. It will also act as a natural stress reliever, allowing you to deal with anxiety or crisis in a positive way.
Hopefully, you understand exercise as a treatment for problem drinking or drug abuse a little more clearly now. It really does work, but it is important to remember that as with anything worth doing in life, it is not going to be a cake walk. It is going to take real effort and dedication to overcome the addiction. But if you put your mind to it, it is well within your grasp.