Four Reasons Running Can Help With Your Alcohol Addiction
Alcohol addiction is a cruel beast. There are millions of people around the world getting help with it, millions more in recovery, and an awful lot of people that may not even quite realize they have a problem with the substance.
Exercise has long been a way to help manage addiction, with experts recommending the likes of yoga, swimming and running as a way of helping people both during treatment and in recovery.
Whether you’ve been through addiction treatment, or you’re trying to give up alcohol alone, running can be of great help. And here’s why…
It’ll help you set up a daily routine
In recovery from any addiction, having a daily routine is hugely important. It’ll bring structure to your life. In rehab, you’re encouraged to have a routine throughout the day, from waking up and having breakfast at the same time, to having a set bedtime.
Running can also be part of that structure. Giving you a period in the day where you know you’re going to get some exercise, some alone time, and most likely some fresh air too.
It’ll reduce stress & improve mental health
That alone time, that period where you can escape is hugely important for our mental health. Running is scientifically proven to relieve stress by stimulating endorphin release and providing a natural high that improves mood.
What’s more, running reduces the amount of cortisol produced in the body, which increases stress as while you are exercising you are using excess adrenaline in the bloodstream, an important factor in the production of cortisol.
That in turn will make you feel happier and healthier, but more importantly allow you to think more clearly and remain focused, which is so vital at every stage of addiction recovery.
You’ll start to become physically fitter
You shouldn’t underestimate the impact alcohol can have on your physical fitness. We’re all aware of the beer belly, but it can also affect your immune system, lead to heart problems, and of course cause liver damage.
Running can aid in weight management, as well as improve your cardiovascular system, meaning nutrients and what the body needs are more efficiently transported around the body. That can help get your body in a much healthier state, which is incredibly important throughout the recovery process.
You’ll find a new social circle
Often, when it comes to giving up alcohol you have to change your entire lifestyle, and that often means cutting ties with some friends.
You may find that some friends were enablers when it came to addiction, or perhaps even have alcohol problems themselves. In rehab you’re encouraged to find healthier social circles, and running can certainly provide that. Running clubs are a great place to go to make new friends while also enjoying a run with others. You can make friends for life, and you may even find other people going through the same battles as yourself, providing you with a mini support network.
Of course, you need to combine exercise with many other tactics to ensure you stay alcohol free, but there’s no doubt exercise really can help you get your life back on track, not to mention providing you with a cheaper, more health-conscious hobby to drinking!