Even those who drink regularly are aware of the health risks associated with alcohol consumption. And though a few social drinks every once in a (long) while are not quite as damaging as heavy drinking or drinking daily, it is a known fact that alcohol harms you physically as well as mentally. Heavy alcohol consumption causes liver damage, heart disease, brain and nervous system problems, anaemia and even cancer!
There are several private and state programs available for people who’d like to be rid of their alcohol addiction. De-addiction programs and counselling sure help reduce your alcohol dependencies but did you know that there are a few things that you can do for yourselves if you are keen on removing alcohol from your lives.
Exercising happens to be one of them.
How Can Exercise Help Overcome Your Addiction?
Addiction is a physical need driven by emotions. With better mental and emotional control, there is nothing you cannot beat. Exercise is a scientifically proven way to achieve better mental and emotional health.
Exercise releases endorphins in your body and these trigger a response of positivity and balance, similar to the effects of morphine. In other words, you can reduce your cravings for alcohol, drugs and just about anything by exhausting your body with a good workout. Exercise also reduces withdrawal symptoms, which are a big problem for heavy addicts.
By adding structure and routine to your days, by helping you build positive social connections and by bolstering your self-esteem, exercise acts as that added support system you require to tide over periodic blues; the ones that lead you back to the bottle. Additionally, exercise also reduces stress, promotes better sleep and improves mental health. All of which are steps in the right direction if you wish to overcome alcohol dependency.
Which Exercises Are Best to Counter Alcohol Addiction?
Whether it is aerobic exercises or resistance training, whether it is running, walking or swimming, and whether it is yoga or even team sports, just about any physical exercise that serves as an outlet for your energy, stress and emotions works well towards your detox.
We at Fitso highly recommend swimming if you are looking to overcome your addictions. For one thing, swimming is for everyone. You could have a bad knee or suffer from joint pain, or you could be someone who struggles on the treadmill, and swimming would still work for you. You could be in your teens or you could be well over your prime and swimming would still work for you. You could even be paraplegic and swimming would still be an option for you.
Swimming is a low impact exercise that lends itself to all ages, all fitness levels and all types of health histories. Several studies worldwide, including one by the European Journal of Pharmacology, conclude swimming to be effective in tackling addiction and reducing withdrawal symptoms, even for top-level addictions such as additions to opioids and drugs.
Of course, swimming is in no way an alternative for sober living programs, support groups and community counselling. But it is most definitely something you could do for yourself while you are getting the help you need for your addiction.
About Fitso: Founded by IIT-Delhi Alumni, FITSO is India’s largest sports discovery platform. On FITSO apps, you can search for a sports facility near you, book your slot and just go and play your favourite sport! FITSO currently maintains the largest inventory of premium temperature controlled swimming pools, indoor Badminton courts, Tennis courts, Cricket grounds, TT tables, Basketball courts, Squash arenas and access to 8+ sports in 5+ cities across India.
Content Credits: Sayali Bedekar Patil