Mishka Shubaly is known for his best-selling Kindle novel The Long Run. In it, the Canadian-born musician chronicles his struggle to overcome an addiction to drugs and alcohol. But Shubaly’s story doesn’t focus on quick ways to quit; the plot twist in The Long Run is the long road Shubaly runs each and every day. Literally.
Shubaly kicked his bad habits and has held onto his sobriety by running. First five miles, then 10, then marathons. And he isn’t alone. Experts agree that exercise may be used successfully alongside other treatment options to help curb addiction. Physical activity releases the same feel-good chemicals that perpetuate alcohol and drug use and may, in time, become a replacement for chemical dependency. Even more important than this “natural high” is the fact that intentional physical activities help keep the mind focused.
Running isn’t the only action that offers these benefits. Addicts can enjoy their favorite sport or recreational activity as part of a daily treatment plan. Other popular exercises for addiction recovery include:
Making health a priority every day
Recovery and good health go hand-in-hand so, in addition to regular planned exercises, each day should include healthy foods and time away from electronics and social media. Just as an addict did not rely on drugs or alcohol after just a few exposures, establishing positive habits for a lifetime of good health takes time. Behaviors take on average 66 days to become routine so recovering addicts should set goals for themselves to make health a priority for seven weeks. After this initial push, these choices become part of a lifestyle.
“Mens Sana in Corpore Sano”
Ancient people had a saying, “Mens Sana in Corpore Sano.” Translated from Latin, this means that a healthy mind comes from a healthy body. That sentiment holds true today, as scientists have confirmed many times over that physical health strongly correlates to mental health and that good mental health is essential in drug and alcohol addiction recovery. The lesson to learn here is that taking care of the body is especially important to individuals who struggle with mental health disorders, including addiction.
Constance Ray started Recoverywell.org with the goal of creating a safe place for people to share how addiction has affected them, whether they are combating it themselves or watching someone they care about work to overcome it. The goal is to share stories of hope from survivors who know that the fight against addiction is one worth having, because no matter how it affects you, life can get better.