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Exercise and sobriety - my experiences

Old 11-28-2013, 08:48 AM
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Exercise and sobriety - my experiences

Since I began my journey exercise has been an absolute integral part of my sobriety. Running has turned into a method of meditation for me, as when I am running I am thinking of nothing but my breathing and form (ideally). It gives me another outlet for my energy. I am also 100 percent certain that it helped me overcome depression that I used to experience. Like all things however, I go all out. I ran a full marathon within my first 2 years of sobriety, and also was able to gain a chance to play College Football (American) again. Something I had always dreamed of achieving.

I recently had a relapse after almost 3 years, the two weeks of drinking and inactivity during the relapse caused me to notice such a change in my body that I snapped out of it and realized I had to get back to AA or all of my athletic and academic ambitions that I have worked for in the last 3 years would be thrown down the drain.

To anyone looking to become more active I would recommend just getting out there and doing it. Once you begin to exercise on a regular basis, you will feel strange when you skip a day or two. The mental and emotion stability that I have gotten from exercise and a strong recovery program have been incredible and I do not believe I would be where I am today if it was not for physical activity.

Just my $.02 for what it is worth

KLM
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Old 11-29-2013, 10:35 PM
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Congrats on your previous three years! Nice job, and I hope you can get back to it.

Also, congrats on all your physical achievements, the running sounds like its working well for you.

I think exercise can be a great part of Recovery, and can help us stay on out sober journey.

However, I think people need to be careful tying their sobriety to exercise. What happens during an injury (I have several I'm going through, and I'm not able to run and other things - Though I still work out)? What about when work hours change and you can't work out, or somthing happens in the family and you can't...you get where I'm going.

I think if you tie your sobriety to something, and there are issues with that something, it could be detrimental for sobriety. So I'd be concerned if someone was too depending on exercise, and then they got injured, they'd miss those workouts, and they'd lose their coping mechanism and feel guilty for missing work outs and then start drinking.

Just my opinion...use exercise to enhance recovery, but don't make it so you rely on exercise for recovery.
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Old 12-01-2013, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Ghostly View Post
Congrats on your previous three years! Nice job, and I hope you can get back to it.

Also, congrats on all your physical achievements, the running sounds like its working well for you.

I think exercise can be a great part of Recovery, and can help us stay on out sober journey.

However, I think people need to be careful tying their sobriety to exercise. What happens during an injury (I have several I'm going through, and I'm not able to run and other things - Though I still work out)? What about when work hours change and you can't work out, or somthing happens in the family and you can't...you get where I'm going.

I think if you tie your sobriety to something, and there are issues with that something, it could be detrimental for sobriety. So I'd be concerned if someone was too depending on exercise, and then they got injured, they'd miss those workouts, and they'd lose their coping mechanism and feel guilty for missing work outs and then start drinking.

Just my opinion...use exercise to enhance recovery, but don't make it so you rely on exercise for recovery.
Exactly. I was relying on it too much for a couple of weeks and then was injured. I went back to drinking. It's a good reminder for me to learn how to cope... and also to get back into exercise at the same time.
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Old 12-03-2013, 10:53 PM
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Great post. Since quitting I have been running about 5 miles a day as well as going to the gym to lift. I've lost weight and just look tremendously better. I don't necessarily tie my sobriety into my exercise but it does give me something "positive" to focus on. If I skip a day I feel "guilty" so to speak lol. I definitely suggest exercise in "recovery" it has done WONDERS for my mood and anxiety.
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Old 12-04-2013, 04:05 AM
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glad to see you stumbled and got back up straight away.....its a good lesson for some of us.....

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Old 12-05-2013, 08:46 PM
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Well done mate.

I second this advice. I don't think it's a coincidence that I began to binge more as I exercised less, and that I stayed sober for my longest period (6 months) when I was lifting 5 times a week.

I think if you can stick to something for 30 days then it becomes habit after that, so if you can stick to it for a month you've got a good chance. Seeing progress helps too.

Once I quit cigarettes, which will hopefully be today as I've got two left and am going to sleep soon, I'm hitting the weights hard.
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Old 12-07-2013, 02:24 PM
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I was a runner for years but later in my drinking career I would come home and have a few beers instead of getting on the bike, or hitting the gym. Then I would pig out for dinner. Didn't take long before I felt and looked like crap. That buzz is a quick way to relax but we all know where it leads.

Good on you getting back at it!
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Old 12-07-2013, 02:42 PM
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I'm looking forward to getting back into exercise, I don't enjoy running but cycling and doing weights. Even then I can find it a bit tedious sometimes until I start seeing the results and I get a natural high

Great you snapped outta your relapse and are getting back to what you know is good for you.
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Old 12-19-2013, 09:07 PM
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I realized something odd when I started running. When I quit drinking I started running to loose the weight drinking had put on me. I lost alot of weight and wanted to keep it off so I decided to run a 5k race a month. Figuring keeping in shape between races would keep the weight off. It worked great but in my area alot of 5k's have some sort of bar association with them. They tend to give free beer away at the end. I'm single so I would like to stay around and talk afterwards but most runners are drinking after the race. I also did a Spartan race which for me was a big accomplishment in exercise and the same thing happens, free beer and honestly everyone was having fun talking about the race and drinking. I have to beat a hasty retreat out of these places and feel like I am missing part of the fellowship of being in these races. I realize most of them will only have a couple then go home, which is something I wouldn't, it's just something I wasn't expecting.
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Old 02-17-2014, 10:46 AM
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The "Fountain of Youth" has been discovered

Exercise and diet is a BIG part of my recovery. If I wasnt excercising everyday, I'd be drinking everyday...all day.

Exercise and a healthy diet go hand in hand.

It works for me and indeed worked a miracle in me and my life. It is well documented in the medical journals that excersice is as close to a "Cure All" as we will ever come to.

"The advantages of consistant, moderate, excercise over the long term, far out weigh the use of any drug that has ever been developed, prescribed or used in the past, the present, or is being formulated for future use". (JAMA)

I intend to stick with it.

Dave
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