Exercise Is Essential to the Alcoholic/Addict

Written by DeShawn McQueen on Monday, 15 October 2012. Posted in Voices in Recovery, Breaking News, Alcohol

Exercise For Recovery

I am sure the title will be greeted with strong statements of unrelenting rebellion, maybe even disdain.

I do not blame you. I once felt the exact same way.

In fact, I thought, I have better things to do….I am naturally thin….I don’t have time…..I do not like exercising, and so on.

Those were just a few of my typical thoughts regarding exercise.

Although, what I quickly realized was that alcoholics and addicts have a lot of energy, that if not properly channeled can lead to self-sabotage despite working a 12 step program.

If you are anything like I am, you think a mile a minute, you are easily disturbed or distressed, high strung, Type-A, easily paranoid and the list goes on.

To be honest, those were all reasons why alcohol and substances were very helpful.

Today, I make better choices. I choose to exercise.

Exercising settles me….neutralizes me…..minimizes the ebbs and flows, strikes a balance among the highs and lows, and certainly helps me to put things into the right perspective, often without trying.

For the alcoholic, addict, or even the psychologically-troubled, exercising provides endless tangible benefits, more than I could ever list in this article.

With that said, one of my concerns about exercising was a misguided thought that I did not have enough time. That could not have been further from the truth.

Since I have started to exercise, I have discovered that I have even more time to do what I have to do and what I want to do.

Exercise aids that internal time-manager, and somehow I prioritize more, effortlessly though. It is like I naturally do what needs to be done and what I enjoy.

Not only do I look better, I feel better and I think better.

Exercise says to your body, “I love you and I value you”. If you work hard for your body it will work hard for you, just like a well maintained car that is regularly serviced.

Nevertheless, exercise, in and of itself is no replacement for the 12 step program. Although, it certainly co-exists so well!

It helps increase productivity and adds to wellness and peace of mind.

I highly recommend joining a gym, a spin class, yoga class or Pilates class. And, if you cannot afford any of the above, grab a decent pair of trainers and take a daily run or walk down the edge of the ocean.

Or, perhaps run a few laps around a lake or local track. A swim will work nicely as well.

Exercise is absolutely invaluable.

Last, I will leave you with a true narrative that helped motivate me.

I have a lovely friend named Alex, who is a true motivation to me. She is a full-time undergraduate student, who works a strong 12 step-program, despite her young age.

Additionally, she wakes up at 4:30 am to hit the gym and a meeting by 7:30 am. Then she is off to classes. As a result, she has never looked more beautiful, magnetic, and ethereal even. Yet, she is strong, principled and focused. Amazing!!


If you or someone that you love is struggling with drug addiction or alcoholism, please call or text us now. We can help you.

Photo Courtesy of: lifestyle.ca.msn.com

About the Author

DeShawn McQueen

DeShawn McQueen

DeShawn McQueen is a staff writer at Recovery Now Newspaper and Recoverynowtv.com, an informative newspaper that serves as a resource for persons of all stages of drug and alcohol treatment, by giving them access to relevant and necessary information so that they may live balanced and substance-free lifestyles. DeShawn graduated from Wayne State University with Bachelor of Science degrees in psychology and premedical sciences. He holds a Juris Doctors degree in law from Valparaiso University School of Law. DeShawn’s writing and research has been published in such academic journals as Behavioral Pharmacology and Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior among others. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

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