How Can Running Aid Your Recovery From Addiction?

 In Addiction, Articles

We are taught from a young age that it is important to stay active in order to stay healthy. One of the most common forms of physical fitness in the world is the simple act o running. Running can be a great way to lose weight while cultivating a better body. Running can also be the key to getting away from addiction, and we mean that quite literally. Today, we are going to explore the beneficial impact that running can have on your pursuit of recovery from addiction.

Benefits of Running for Addiction Recovery

As a form of physical fitness, runs are among the best in the world. Running does far more for the average person than burn calories. Going for runs can help to strengthen your heart, improve your respiratory system, and even help you as a form of addiction treatment. Whether you were addicted to alcohol or heroin, running can provide a stable and healthy way to address your situation. What specifically about running is so beneficial? That’s a great question, so let’s explore the concept in further detail.

Runner’s High – If you are a recovering addict, the last thing that you want to do is get high, right? Well, a runner’s high is far different from your typical high. When you run, your brain increases your dopamine and endorphin levels. These chemicals will literally make you feel better, and all that you have to do to attain them is exercise! Sounds great, right? Unlike most great things, there is no catch.

Combat Depression – If you struggle with depression, you know how those feelings can lead to a relapse. Depression is a serious mental illness that should not be taken lightly. Talk to any medical professional about depression, and you’ll likely hear about the benefits of regular exercise. Running can help to reduce that overwhelming feeling of despair. As your brain cranks out beneficial chemicals, you’ll find it easier to feel better about yourself. Running should not be the only way that you address your depression, but it can be a great activity to add to the list.

Confidence Boost – When you feel bad about yourself, it becomes easier to relapse. Going for a run can be great for your mood, your confidence, and even your self-esteem. As you run, your body will begin to churn out positive chemicals. As you become more experienced, you’ll find that you can run further, faster, and longer. As you continue to cultivate your running routine, you’ll find that your body looks better, your mind operates clearer, and your self-esteem is steadily improving. Put simply, running makes you feel good, and when you feel good, you can plan for the future with hope in your heart.

How to Add a Routine to my Recovery

So far, we’ve made running sound like a quick fix for addiction treatment, but that isn’t entirely the case. While running is tremendously beneficial, it still isn’t something you can simply adapt overnight. Like any other exercise, be it physical or mental, there are right and wrong ways to train yourself. Developing a running routine needs to be something you take slowly, carefully, and with patience. After all, if you throw yourself into a run that you can’t handle, you’ll quickly fall out of the routine before running into your old demons, metaphorically speaking. With that being said, here are a few ways that you can incorporate running into your recovery routine.

Start Slow, Stay Patient – When was the last time that you ran for an extended period? If you are like most people, you probably don’t run that often. With that frame of mind, you can understand why it is important to start slow and stay patient. Running is hard and it can be easy to give up. Don’t put yourself in over your head. Start off with short routes that you can tackle. Build a culture of success before moving on to longer and more challenging levels of exercise.

Adapt to Your Health – This isn’t always going to be the solution, especially if you have other physical ailments that might inhibit you. In order to make running a healthy part of your life, talk to your primary care physician. You’ll be able to come up with a running routine that is as good for your mind as it is for your body.

Start Eating Right – Once you start running, you should also start eating right. Not only will a great diet help you to feel better, but it will also help you to maximize your efforts while out running. Make sure to stay hydrated, as well. You don’t want to accelerate your recovery only to end up with a serious injury!

Running is more than just a way to burn calories. Going out for a run can help you stay focused on your sobriety. If you are up to the challenge, consider roping in a friend so that you have an accountability buddy. With hard work and dedication, running can be an amazing tool in your fight against addiction.

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