At any given time, there are around twenty million Americans using alcohol and drug recovery services. If you are one of these and you want to stay sober, there are many ways to help you stay on the straight and narrow. Exercise is one of these, and there are few better ways to work on yourself than biking.
First, it’s important to remember that cycling and any other exercise is only a small role in your recovery. You’ll still need to go to therapy, seek support, and maintain an overall healthy and balanced lifestyle. Today, Unique to You Nutrition offers some tips and resources to help you stay on track.
Biking and Physical Fitness
Biking is an excellent exercise, and exercise delivers a continual drip of dopamine to your brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that’s often called the “feel-good” hormone because it gives you pleasure. US-based Cleveland Clinic explains that dopamine can help you stay motivated, focused, and alert. Before you step into your first pair of biker shorts, however, you’ll need to make sure to choose the right bike. M2M Cycling offers tips and suggestions on how to pick the perfect road bike for you.
A Training Program to Distract Your Mind
In addition to being an excellent physical activity, road biking will also put your brain to work during the planning stage. You can’t just hop on a bike and take your first long road trip. Instead, you’ll need to create a training program utilizing everything from maps to a calorie counter so you know where you’re going and how much nutrition you’ll need to get there. It can help to have PDFs so that you can look at your schedule and training regimen from your phone. Consider this option if you want to turn a JPG into a PDF.
Mental Benefits of Road Cycling
M2M Cycling founder Ben Phillips has written about the mental health benefits of road biking before. From a substance abuse recovery standpoint, biking can relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety while simultaneously improving your immediate mood and reducing stress. All of these can have a huge impact on your ability to handle issues that might otherwise lead you into relapse. Once you get comfortable biking, it may become your new coping mechanism – many people in addiction turn to drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism – since you will learn how to find solace in yourself from the discipline you learn throughout training.
Seek Ongoing Treatment
Staying sober can be a challenge. Luckily, there are plenty of resources out there to help you, so don’t be afraid to take advantage of the best rehab facilities in your area to help you stay on track. Given all the options, you can afford to be choosy, so make sure you check the facilities’ reviews and types of treatment being offered. That way, you can find the program that’s the best fit for your needs. And if you’re worried about costs, you can specifically look for facilities that offer payment plans and accept multiple types of health insurance.
One of the most important parts of a successful addiction recovery treatment plan is having a strong support system. Road cycling gives you an important opportunity to connect with other men and women who share a passion for the sport. The supportive environment may encourage you to open up to others who can share similar experiences and challenges. You’ll form lifelong bonds that can help you maintain your sobriety.
A New Goal
While your ultimate goal is to stay sober, road cycling gives you a great new platform to achieve personal goals. This could be anything from conquering a certain distance to competing and participating in cycling events. Having an opportunity to work toward these goals can help instill a sense of purpose and accomplishment in your life. Many people need these so that they can focus on the positives and eliminate toxic thinking, which you must avoid while you’re in recovery.
While most people don’t think about biking as part of their substance abuse treatment plan, it makes sense. After all, once you organize and master the (potentially grueling) training process, you’ll find a sense of serenity on the road. You’ll also find physical fitness, friendship, and a healthy coping mechanism that can help you maintain your sobriety.
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