Once you cross the line between occasional drinking and a daily dose of alcohol, an addiction might become an issue in your life. Battling with alcoholism isn’t easy, and the journey towards recovery can be a highly challenging and complex one, so keeping yourself motivated is key here. From going to Alcohol rehab to seeing a therapist long-term and attending AA meetings, there are various actions you will need to pursue if you want your rehabilitation process to truly be a successful one. However, what you might not have exactly known until now is that exercising can have its own powerful role here. Starting to be more active can influence how rapidly and well you transition towards a completely sober lifestyle. Healthy living is the way you can start cutting out harmful habits entirely and patterns, so adopting the right approach here can be essential. There are a few things you should know about exercise during recovery, and the following insights might help you on the subject:
Stress might have been the factor that had triggered your alcohol dependency in the first place. A few drinks might have started to seem the ideal solution to temporarily leave your problems behind and enjoy momentary relief. The stress reduction alcohol seemed to bring you was however allusive, and once you develop an actual alcohol problem, this will in fact be directly linked to increased levels of stress, becoming its main cause. During recovery, knowing how to navigate this issue and keep it under control can influence your entire healing process. Physical activity is suggested by experts as an incredibly effective method of alleviating stress. The chemicals released in your brain during exercise serve as a stress-booster, and it will become much easier for you to manage the entire situation, when you are more relaxed and at-peace.
Read our guide to Stress Management Skills When In Addiction Recovery
Working out can offer structure to your daily schedule
With a clear schedule to follow on a daily basis, finding the time or excuses to drink will become a bit more complicated. One of the aspects that not many people realize is that daily workouts offer a structure to one’s day. Whether you sign up for a yoga or spinning class in the morning, you hit the gym after work or develop a set workout plan, when you have an exercise itinerary in-check, you will be encouraged to keep yourself on track, and reduce the temptation of putting yourself in scenarios where alcohol is involved (attending a party or going out for a drink with friends).
The cessation of alcohol will have a negative impact on your sleep schedule. Especially during early recovery, you will find yourself dealing with sleepless nights and a constant state of tiredness and fatigue. Difficulties in falling asleep, or constantly waking up at night due to alcohol withdrawal can also increase your cravings and might often determine those in an early healing phase to go through a relapse. Well, once you start prioritizing exercise, and become physically active, you will be able to restore sleep quality. Regardless of what type of workout routine you have, when you engaging in proper and regular exercise, and impressive improvement will be noticed in terms of both sleep quality and duration. When you start resting peacefully at night, tackling challenges when you are awake will naturally become easier, and that of course includes continuing your journey towards a completely sober life.
Boosted energy and improved mood are two of the major benefits anyone who is physically active enjoys on a daily basis. Considering the difficult time you are going through, and how much your battle against addiction has probably affected all areas in your life, you would have quite a lot to gain out of a boost in the energy and mood departments. The boost in oxygen levels experienced during workouts has the role of increasing your general energy levels. Dealing with life responsibilities when you are only recently clean can seem overwhelming, so you would need all the extra energy you could get, and physical activity can bring you impressive gains here. Your mood and state of mind (which will seldom be great during initial alcoholism healing) could also be ameliorated.
Reduces alcohol and drug-seeking behavior
Besides all of these benefits that are certainly helpful during rehabilitation, exercise has been directly linked to a reduction in drug-seeking behavior, and that includes alcohol as well. Drug Abuse institutions have carried out studies that indicate how strenuous workouts can reduce cravings, making it far easier for you to stay on track and prevent dealing with a relapse. While not working 100 percent on its own, exercise can certainly have a powerful effect and might heal you reach your healing goals faster.
A healthy view on life
While working out can do wonders, as you have seen in the information above, you need to understand that complete physical, mental, emotional and spiritual recovery demands from you a healthy way of seeing life. If you continue with unbeneficial habits, even if you are pushing yourself into including exercise in your schedule, the entire process will be more difficult and the result not as satisfying. Together with alcohol, you should cut out smoking, binge eating and other patterns that have contributed to a disorganized and unhealthy lifestyle. When you are eating right and you value your health, you’ll be more motivated to reach full recovery and you will completely understand the role of exercise here.
Complete healing and recovery after a long battle with addiction won’t be easy, and your actions on the matter are extremely important. Simply going to a rehabilitation center might not be sufficient, you need to focus on other areas of your life, in order to strengthen the results and keep yourself focused on a sober life. Working out has been pointed out by experts to work incredibly well with alcoholism rehabilitation, and you should use this to your full advantage. If you take into account the suggestion mentioned here and start prioritizing an active lifestyle, the results will certainly impress you.
If you think you are drinking to much then read our guide on How to Stop Drinking Alcohol or Call one of our addiction experts for free on 0203 955 7700 and take the first steps to treat your addiction.