Taking the road to recovery often includes replacing an addiction with a healthy obsession. After all, in order to get clean, you often have to give up your former social life, including the friends who like to drink. To fill the void, you may consider joining a sporting or exercise group. That way, you can establish healthy goals and do so with other like-minded individuals.
On research study showed the advantage of group exercise. For instance, one group of study participants who regularly drank exercised with others in a group. The other research participants, who were also fairly heavy drinkers, exercised a few days on their own. Results showed that the people who exercised as part of a group had fewer drinking days overall.
The Advantage of Structure
Researchers theorised and found that exercise reduces the depressive symptoms that affect people who abuse alcohol. They also found that a workout routine lent structure to the lives of participants. Study participants appreciated the fact that they were doing something for themselves and getting healthy at the same time.
As a result, exercise supplies a high for people wish to combat an alcohol addiction. In addition to reducing stress and anxiety, physical activity increases the level of dopamine within the brain. Dopamine, which is a chemical that is related to feelings of pleasure, often diminishes when alcohol is abused. So, if you replace an addiction to alcohol with a workout addiction, you are actually taking a progressive step forward.
How Exercise Improves the Health of People in Recovery
Whilst one addiction leads possibly to health problems or premature death, the other addiction enhances cardiovascular health and boosts self-esteem. In addition, exercise is shown to assist in regulating sleep, which is a common problem for addicts during the early part of recovery. Exercise also improves cognitive functioning, which is frequently impaired by chronic substance abuse.
One former addict said that he runs to stay sober. In fact, he finds exercise to be the complete opposite of using alcohol. Alcohol is the fastest route to take if you want to say that you do not care. On the other hand, exercise shows that you do care about life and that you are willing to put forth the effort in order to improve.
Taking the Road Less Travelled: Enrolling in Recovery
When you exercise rather than drink, your perspective totally changes. Whilst drinking takes you down a path that is self-limiting, exercise leads you down a road that offers infinite potential. If you want to progress and overcome an addiction, then you must replace negative behaviours with positive goals. In order to reach for that horizon, you first must enrol in a programme where you can receive treatment for your addiction. Only then can you see your way clear to creating some positive and life-affirming goals.
Once you realise you have an alcohol problem, you should receive help immediately. Programmes are tailored to suit each individual and are available on an outpatient basis. You can make a call assured of complete discretion and confidentiality.