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3 Reasons to Try Running in Recovery

Part of recovery is adopting a healthier lifestyle that includes better relationships, healthy eating, plenty of sleep, and regular exercise. The best exercise is the exercise you enjoy and will do regularly. If there’s nothing in particular you like, there are some good reasons to give running a try.

First, it’s  very easy to get started running.

You only need some reasonably comfortable shoes, some clothes you don’t mind sweating in, and safe stretch of road. That’s doable for most people. You don’t need classes or a coach. You don’t need perfect technique right away. You don’t need a lot of expensive equipment or a team of people to run with. There are very few excuses–besides weather–for putting off running.

Second, you can run as much or as little as you want.

This is especially important in the beginning. If you can only run for 10 seconds without getting out of breath, then run for 10 seconds. Tomorrow, try to run for 11 seconds. You set your own pace. There’s no one to keep up with or try to beat. It’s good practice for trying to improve a little every day rather than comparing yourself to someone else.

Third, the physiological benefits of running are especially good for recovery.

Addiction is bad for your heart, lungs, and brain, especially if you smoke or drink too. Running, on the other hand is good for your heart, lungs, and brain. It strengthens your heart and improves your lung capacity. It reduces blood pressure and resting heart rate. Perhaps most importantly, it helps you think more clearly and improve your mood. Running is especially good for your prefrontal cortex, which is important for judgment and self-control, and the hippocampus, which is important for memory. As a bonus, you feel less stressed and more relaxed. If you want, you can even find a group to run with to introduce a social aspect.

There’s only one caveat to running: it can become addictive. Some people experience runner’s high, which is thought to be caused by the release of endocannabinoids in the brain. If you are in recovery, you may be vulnerable to a transfer addiction. And the same factors that make running easy to start make it easy to do in excess. So it’s important check in from time to time and make sure your relationship to running or any exercise is still healthy.

If you or someone you love is struggling with addiction, Gardens Wellness Center can help you detox safely and decide on a treatment strategy. Call us today at 844-325-9168 or email us at to learn more.