Should You Exercise During Alcohol Withdrawal?

Should You Exercise During Alcohol Withdrawal?

Exercise: it helps us all have a healthy body, mind, and spirit. Having a regular exercise routine allows us to focus on our goals and keep our health in check…so is there ever a wrong time to exercise?

Alcohol withdrawal is a very complicated issue that inflicts a variety of physical, mental, and emotional side effects. Even though exercise can help cure a lot of things, withdrawal can take an extreme toll on the body. So is it a good or bad idea to exercise while going through alcohol withdrawal?

What is Alcohol Withdrawal?

Shot of a woman walking on the treadmill at gym. Young focused female exercising at health club, training on exercise equipment.
If you’ve been drinking heavily for weeks, months, or years and suddenly decide to abstain from or cut back on alcohol, you may experience alcohol withdrawal. This is because the central nervous system quickly gets used to having alcohol in the body. When there is suddenly no more alcohol in the body, your system needs to adjust and get back to normal. This is when withdrawal symptoms occur.
The symptoms of alcohol withdrawal can vary from mild to serious physical and emotional symptoms. The severity of your symptoms during alcohol withdrawal will depend on how much you previously drank and how long you drain heavily for.

Effects of Alcohol Withdrawal

Even though everyone’s alcohol withdrawal experience is different, many of those who go through it may endure similar symptoms. Some of the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal include:

  • Headache
  • Anxiety
  • Shakiness
  • Depression
  • Lethargy
  • Dry or watery mouth
  • Nausea & vomiting
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Confusion
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • High blood pressure
  • Fever

While these side effects are typically not life-threatening on their own, they are certainly not pleasant. Since withdrawal can be a pretty uncomfortable experience, finding ways to cope and find comfort may make the process easier.

Coping With Alcohol Withdrawal

There are no ways to cure alcohol withdrawal; however, there are many tactics that may help calm or alleviate the symptoms. When undergoing withdrawal, you should be under some sort of supervision. It is recommended that withdrawal is administered at a medical detox center or residential rehabilitation facility .

During alcohol withdrawal, patients should be in a quiet space with soft lighting. They should be surrounded with positivity and support; so if their home is not a comforting place for them, withdrawal should not be administered there. It is also encouraged for those experiencing withdrawal to consume healthy foods and drink lots of fluids.

Lastly, it may be a good idea to complete light exercise while undergoing alcohol withdrawal.

Is Exercise Beneficial During Alcohol Withdrawal?

Yes, exercise is very beneficial during alcohol withdrawal and alcoholism treatment. Exercise, besides helping people develop a healthier lifestyle, can assist individuals in maintaining abstinence. Staying physically active helps people focus on working their bodies instead of thinking about when they’ll get to have their next drink. Exercise is also known to reduce stress, depression, and anxiety, which are all common symptoms of withdrawal and triggers of alcohol abuse.

Working Out After Withdrawal

Even though exercise during withdrawal is recommended, it’s important not to jump into a full-fledged exercise routine. Especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions, you should not begin a daily regimen without clearance from your doctor. Since withdrawal can take a physical toll on a person, it’s probably best to start with running or jogging every day. This is a no-cost exercise option that may help lower one’s urges to drink and prevent relapse.

Using Exercise to Aid in Alcoholism Recovery

Once you are completely abstinent from alcohol for an extended period of time, you might be able to begin a light exercise routine. Different forms of exercise, such as weight training or yoga, may help you along your recovery journey along with other treatment methods such as talk therapy.

If you are interested to learn more about our alcohol detox and inpatient program , please contact our team of medial professionals by visiting us here or giving us a call at 267.209.7313 .


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