Did you know there are over 600 million people around the world that partake in running? So, it’s got to be good for something right?
Across the world, there are also an estimated 107 million people who suffer from an alcohol use disorder. Perhaps that wasn’t the follow-up stat you were hoping for.
Well, the reason for that is that not only do we need to be aware of it, and aware of the fact that the figure is rising, but also that running’s relationship with alcohol can be a hugely positive one.
At many alcohol rehabilitation treatment centers, patients are encouraged to partake in exercise, often running, as part of their treatment and recovery. But why is running the perfect antidote for giving up the substance?
It’s a brilliant stress-buster
One of the main reasons many people take up running, alcoholic or not, is that it’s a brilliant stress buster. The rhythm of the run releases tension, as well as endorphins, providing you with a much more calm, serene, and tranquil attitude to life. During that time running, you’ll feel your shoulders lift, bringing you out the other side with a clearer and more focused approach.
It’ll improve your mood too
Running has been scientifically proven to improve mood and reduce symptoms you may have around anxiety and depression. What’s more, the sense of achievement you get from finishing a run or perhaps hitting a PB will also lift you. And if you’re in a positive mood and mindset, then you’re much less likely to seek out alcohol as a coping mechanism.
You’ll become more focused on achieving goals
Naturally, your biggest goal in life should you be wanting to go sober, will be maintaining that sobriety. But you can learn a lot about yourself by completing running goals and boosting confidence in other areas of your life too. You should set goals that are achievable, both short and long-term, and it’ll enable you to remain focused in all walks of your life.
You can find a new community
What you may have enjoyed about alcohol was the community of the pub or being with friends. But you can still find community, just in a different way. Running is great for this. There are running clubs in every town and city across the country, while events such as a Saturday morning Parkrun can also be great for meeting new people and being part of an active community that’s bursting with encouragement and goodwill.
It’s cheap and can stay with you for life
The beauty of running is that all you need is a pair of trainers and you’re good to go. You can run at your own pace and to a distance that suits you. But what’s more, it can remain a hobby for life.
There are a few more benefits that will help you achieve the transformation
Drinking excessively may lead to physical health problems and substantial weight gain. Running, on the other hand, is a powerful way to reshape your body. By replacing alcohol with running, you tone your body and shed excess weight simultaneously. This transforms not just your physical form, but also your self-confidence in the long run. Such progress also stands as a striking reminder of your healing process.
Triggered by stress, boredom, and negative emotions, the tendency to drink as a sort of routine is widespread. One constructive coping mechanism that can be employed to deal with these impulses is running. Endorphins are naturally released when you run, providing a naturally elevated mood that can function as a substitute for the artificial high of alcohol. This can aid in effectively handling one’s emotional condition without any adverse side effects.
Elevating your mood and providing a sense of well-being, the release of endorphins is a major benefit of running. These natural mood enhancers spare you the need to rely on alcohol to seek refuge from life’s challenges.
Poor quality sleep is a common issue that can be worsened by drinking alcohol. A solution to this problem could be incorporating regular running into your routine. By establishing a regular exercise routine, you can significantly improve the overall quality of your sleep. This, in turn, can help prevent the need to use alcohol to self-medicate sleep-related issues, allowing you to wake up feeling refreshed and well-rested.
Participating in races or becoming a member of a running group is an effective way to establish accountability. By committing to group runs, the likelihood of excessive drinking is diminished. The obligation to attend runs and actively participate in the running community can discourage alcohol intake.
Poor quality sleep and constant fatigue are often the results of disrupted sleep patterns caused by alcohol consumption. However, incorporating regular runs into your routine can lead to significant improvement in your sleep. This, in turn, helps to reduce the likelihood of using alcohol as a means to self-medicate sleep-related problems. You’ll wake up feeling refreshed and well-rested, which is essential for good health.
Being accountable is a significant advantage of getting involved in running. By joining or participating in races, this sense of responsibility is heightened. When you agree to accompany others on runs, you are less prone to drink excessively. The commitment to attend meetings and stay active in the collective can have an effect on the prevention of alcohol consumption.
Your body’s ability to fight off illnesses is weakened when you consume an excessive amount of alcohol, making you vulnerable to sickness. However, running has the opposite effect on your immune system, increasing its strength and protecting you from illnesses. By boosting your immunity through exercise, you can decrease the health hazards caused by drinking and maintain a stronger overall health.
In conclusion, running is a holistic and effective antidote for giving up alcohol. It addresses physical, mental, and emotional aspects of recovery, providing numerous benefits that contribute to a healthier, more fulfilling life. Whether you’re seeking a natural high, accountability, or a healthier way to manage stress, running can be the transformative tool you need to break free from the chains of alcohol addiction. Embrace the power of running, and you’ll find that it can be a lifelong companion on your path to recovery.