Why is Exercise Helpful in Alcohol Withdrawal?
Alcoholism can be quite a problem and achieving sobriety by withdrawing from alcohol can be very challenging. Alcohol can be a substance that can develop dependence from its user when used inappropriately. Also, alcoholism can develop unusual tolerance to high levels of alcohol intake in alcoholics, making withdrawal or drastically cutting alcohol intake very discomforting. The discomforting symptoms due to withdrawal from an abused substance are collective called withdrawal syndrome. The level of discomfort can vary depending on how long the alcohol abuse has been going and how high is the current tolerance level of the alcoholic.
There is actually a silver lining despite the challenging prospect of alcohol withdrawal and the path to sobriety. Exercise is showing promise when it comes to reversing the damage done by alcohol abuse. We are going to explore further into how exercise is helpful in alcohol withdrawal.
Exercise Gives You a Natural Rush
One of the salient effects of drug or alcohol addiction is the disruption of the body's natural levels of dopamine – the happiness inducing chemical in the brain. Physical activity can actually boost the production of mood-improving or “happiness” chemicals. Exercising can actually hype up the production of dopamine. This gives recovering alcoholics two benefits: improved fitness levels and improved mood.
Exercise Promotes Natural Body Healing
Improving fitness through exercise and healthy diet can gradually return some of the disrupted and distorted bodily processes back to normal levels and also relieve the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal. Symptoms like nausea, vomiting, shakiness, increased heartbeat, loss of appetite and sleep difficulties are the common discomforts that will eventually wane and disappear once you start an exercise and diet regimen. Soon, your body will accordingly adjust to the regular exercise. Your blood circulation will gradually improve and return the healthy function of your heart. Better heart function leads to better cardiovascular system which promotes better oxygenation of cells. Proper oxygenation of cells across the body promotes healing of the entire body inside and out.
Exercise Is a Healthy Distraction
Exercise is a good way of distracting recovering alcoholics from activities that could remind them of their alcohol abuse. Stress and negative experiences are common triggers for alcohol abuse and relapse for those undergoing treatment and rehabilitation. For this very reason, rehabilitation centers across the country have incorporated exercise into their treatment programs.
Exercise Helps Improve the Effectiveness of Other Therapies
The mood and emotional enhancement benefit of exercise can actually help improve other therapies in the treatment program. Behavioral therapy can benefit from this as recovering alcoholics will now become more open to sharing their experiences and more receptive to the procedures and goals of this therapy. In turn, this helps people who are trying to get rid of their alcohol addiction to understand the reasons leading to the addiction, recognize the triggers of addiction and to learn more effective ways of managing emotions and sobriety to prevent relapse.
Exercise does show promise in the path to recovery from alcoholism. Although it should be taken to mind that exercise in drug or alcohol addiction recovery should be only moderate and should not be heavy and not require much exertion as this can lead to exhaustion and negative impression on exercise. Also, exercise should come with a healthy diet to get optimum health benefits. The road to recovery from alcoholism can be challenging, but having the will to change and keeping your commitment to the recovery program can get you through to a sober life.