Running is one of the world’s favourite hobbies, not least for the significant benefits it can have on our bodies and minds. For many, people see it almost as a source of therapy or an addiction, in which they’re desperate to get their kicks.
It’s often for that reason that it can be such a useful replacement for giving up alcohol, with many alcohol rehab facilities in fact encouraging running as a way of helping prevent relapse and controlling mental health.
In fact, you’ll find many running influencers on the likes of social media have become so obsessed with the activity after facing difficulties in life, whether that be depression, trauma, or the likes of addiction.
But why is running so effective in helping get people off the booze, and why should you give it a go? We take a look at six reasons as to why it oculd help you…
It Provides You With Something To Obsess Over
For those struggling with alcohol, it becomes an obsession, with people constantly thinking about alcohol and when they’re going to get their next drink. Running provides the same once you get into it and can be a much healthier way to channel such a personality.
But what’s more, as it becomes the thing you think about most, your life becomes about accommodating that rather than alcohol, which in turn limits the amount of alcohol you may drink as you don’t want it to upset your training and running routine.
It Gives You An Alternate Activity
The activity of running can also provide an alternative activity in terms of your free time too. The pub can often be a go-to purely as something to do. However, an hour’s running is just as easy to take up, and what’s more it’s cheaper than the £5-£6 per pint you’d be spending in the pub too.
There are all manner of ways in which you can treat it as an alternate activity, from regular gym visits to full training plans and even joining a running club. Every local town has a running club, and they’re a great place to meet likeminded people and be part of a community.
Running clubs are brilliant for encouragement and advice on running, while they’re fantastic for making friends too, especially if you’re new to an area or don’t know many people in your neighbourhood. They often run multiple times a week, but you can pick and choose the sessions you go to, fitting in with your own schedule.
It’ll Ease Stress
Often we turn to drinking booze as a result of stress, but while it provides the short term goals of coping with stress, it certainly makes you worse off in the long run. Running is a much more effective and efficient way of coping with stress. There are a number of reasons for this.
Firstly, and a reason we mostly know about is the endorphin release boosting our mood. However, it also regulates cortisol levels, which is a hormone that is released in response to stress, enabling you to manage it much more effectively.
Alongside this, running has also been linked to an increased production of brain-derived nurotrophic factorm which supports the growth and maintenance of neurons, which again play a big part in mood regulation.
This will enable us to tackle lifes problems in a much more efficient way than having a drink and staring into the bottom of a glass, as we all well know.
It’ll Boost Your Confidence And Make You Less Self Conscious
Running is a brilliant way to improve cardiovascular health, lose weight and increase overall fitness, which in itself breeds confidence, much more than the growing paunch that drinking offers up does.
Seeing our body undergo positive transformations can prove a real catalyst to distance yourself from the negative impacts alcohol causes on the body and can be a real motivational tool for giving up booze for good or limiting your intake.
It’ll Boost Your Discipline
Finally, running will help form a healthy, more established daily routine which in turn can help break the unhealthy habits in your life. Running requires commitment and discipline which can rub off in all parts of your life with the traits being invaluable when it comes to giving up the likes of alcohol and maintaining sobriety.
That sense of accomplishment you get from finishing a run and the progress you see provides a real purpose that can then be channeled into giving up the booze for good and living a much healthier lifestyle.
You’ll Start To Sleep Better
As a result of all this, you’ll start to sleep much easier, which is such a vital part of stress management and a reason many people turn to booze in the first place. Sleep is such an important part of our day-to-day life, and is key in both physical and mental recovery.
That has a knock-on effect with any struggles people have with alcohol and substances, as people are more cognitively aware and focused to deal with life’s stresses as opposed to turning to alcohol.
Sold? Lace Up Your Trainers!
Whether it be one of the reasons above or all of them, running really can be transformative in a person’s life, especially when it comes to trying to give up alcohol. It can help provide you with a real focus to stay off drinking, while providing you with a new goals that can take your mind off alcohol, as well as giving you an alternative to going to the pub.
What’s great about it, is that you can make it as social or solitary as you like, providing you with a period of time to chat to friends or make new ones, as well as reflective periods when you just want to pound the tarmac and let your mind escape. And what’s not to love about that?
So, what’re you waiting for? Get those trainers laced up and start putting one foot in front of the other.