Start Exercising Every Day

In Addiction Recovery by Randy Kassebaum


Exercise is something that everybody should be doing every day. However, those going through addiction recovery, in particular, need to introduce physical activity into their lives as a way of staying sober. For example, the study “Aerobic Exercise for Alcohol Recovery: Rationale, Program Description, and Preliminary Findings” took a look at how working out could help a person overcome alcohol addiction.

Throughout the study, the researchers found that exercise helped an individual create a new focus in their life that took over from their reliance on drinking. In fact, this study went so far as to say that exercise not only had effects similar to many pharmacological treatments but that it had fewer adverse effects and almost no side effects when compared to psychotropic drugs.

The benefits exercise provide include an increase in pleasurable states – including increased release of dopamine – usually triggered by drinking, positive activity alternatives to drinking, improved mental health symptoms, reduced stress, bettered coping abilities, and a decreased desire to drink. An article by CNN stated the basic approach rather bluntly: replacing addiction with a new “healthy obsession” provided individuals with an outlet for their cravings and trigger impulses.

Obviously, an individual going through treatment for addiction can’t jump on a treadmill and expect instant sobriety. Instead, they should use various forms of exercise as a coping mechanism for their cravings and relapse triggers including staying sober for New Years. Pairing exercise with the other methods mentioned above – and high-quality professional rehab – provides the best chance of staying sober for the rest of your life.