Are there significant health benefits of cycling daily during the early months of Suboxone medication assisted treatment?
A well-known cornerstone of addiction recovery is regular, healthy physical activity. Bike riding is an aerobic exercise that works the leg muscles, improves blood flow, builds the immune system, and can improve overall physical health and increase life expectancy.
If you are currently prescribed opioid addiction treatment, or you are planning on getting started, you may also want to plan for activities that will support your recovery. Going to support meetings, for example, is a great way to build your network of support, getting to know new friends who are also in recovery.
Additionally, planning for regular physical activity is also important. Buprenorphine treatment, or Suboxone therapy, works best if you plan to avoid living a sedentary lifestyle. If you already enjoy cycling, Suboxone bicycle therapy to maximize your health may be a good solution for you to consider.
Bicycle therapy health benefits work well to help you stay on track with your Suboxone treatment.
Ask your Suboxone doctor what they think of cycling as a form of cardiovascular fitness. Most likely, they will agree that it will be helpful.
One of my patients enjoyed mountain biking for years before he succumbed to opiate addiction. He missed the excitement and exhilaration of riding his bicycle daily to improve his health.
Within a short time of starting Suboxone, he felt well enough to resume his lifelong passion of riding his bicycle and even competing in events. In fact, recently, he competed in a major mountain biking race.
With each of our telemedicine visits, he is excited to tell me about his bike riding adventures. He updates me on recent events and he also tells me about how bicycle riding improves his mental health.
What are the health benefits of cycling with Suboxone treatment?
Riding through the countryside, out on the open road, can be a peaceful form of exercise that allows you to contemplate the beauty of nature. You take deep breaths of fresh air while consistently using your muscles to pump the bicycle pedals.
Cycling can provide a relaxing and meditative environment where you can focus on your activity and the scenery around you. Negative thoughts have less power over you when you are outside exercising.
While you must be careful to not get too much sun exposure, being out in the sunlight is also therapeutic. Riding along a path by a lake or ocean provides the additional benefits that come from enjoying the beauty of waves rippling on a large body of water.
Opioid receptors work best when used by the body for reinforcing positive, beneficial behaviors.
Suboxone contains buprenorphine, which is a partial opioid agonist and an opioid antagonist. It blocks opioid receptors and it partially activates opioid receptors.
While a large percentage of opioid receptors are blocked by Suboxone during medically assisted treatment, the endorphin system is still able to function, giving you that bicycle high. As endorphins are released to bind with opioid receptors, while you are out riding your bicycle, you feel great about the healthy cycling activity you are engaged with.
It is important to get yourself used to the feeling of endorphins working as they are intended, as opioid receptor agonists, helping you to develop healthy habits. There are programs designed to help treat addiction by focusing on daily physical activity.
On my podcast, I once interviewed a man who had at least 30 unsuccessful rehab experiences. Finally, he found a rehab in California run by a retired Navy Seal.
The program consisted of daily, intensive physical activity. In addition to working out in the gym and using treadmills and stationary cycling, the clients would also go out on the beach, early each morning, to train in the water, swimming and boating.
He described the program as being a five month program with a high success rate. Even without Suboxone maintenance, clients of the program were able to stay opiate free for years afterwards.
What if I went to a Suboxone doctor after pain management? Should I still ride my bicycle to improve my physical and mental health?
People who get opioid treatment from a pain doctor do sometimes become addicted to opioid medication. Some people go from the pain management clinic to the streets, and they start buying heroin or fentanyl.
When they start a treatment program with Suboxone maintenance, they still have the chronic pain issue to deal with. Fortunately, Suboxone does help somewhat to make chronic pain more tolerable.
Yet, medication should not be the only solution to addressing either substance abuse treatment or chronic pain syndromes. Other activities, including physical activity, will help with both physical and mental health.
Riding a bicycle helps with chronic pain, by strengthening key muscle groups that can help to strengthen the area and reduce the pain. And, at the same time, cycling is uplifting and a great form of mental health therapy.
Can bicycle therapy help to prevent an overdose?
The enemies of recovery include isolation, boredom, and being sedentary, sitting on the couch or laying in bed, continuously watching television. Getting outside and bicycling is a great way to overcome the dangers of isolation, boredom, and not moving enough.
In recovery and opioid treatment, every bit of support helps. It could be animal therapy, where you have a loved pet to keep you company to calm you. Or, you may choose to engage in more exotic activities, such as equine therapy with horses.
When it comes to exercise, a simple fast-paced walk is helpful in both improving health and improving your mood. If you are prepared to take a bike ride, that may make you feel even better.
In recovery from addiction, they say that if you are not moving forward, then you are sliding backwards. If you are allowing negative thoughts to catch up with you, you may start to contemplate returning to active addiction again.
In addition to staying on your Suboxone buprenorphine treatment as prescribed, you should also engage in healthy activities such as bicycle riding. Everything helpful to recovery takes you further away from the dangers of opioid overdose and overdose death.
In addition to medication assisted treatment and physical activity, it is also important to engage in psychotherapy. If you are able to, group support meetings are also beneficial.
Bicycle health and safety practices are important to continued success.
One thing that you will want to avoid at all costs is a serious injury due to riding your bicycle. Be careful on the roads with regards to traffic safety and driving around cars and trucks.
Even on a quiet country road, there is the possibility that a truck or car will come up behind you. Here, in the state of Florida, the law is that motor vehicles must maintain a distance of at least three feet when passing a bicycle.
Unfortunately, in today’s world, drivers are often texting and looking at social media on their phones while driving. For your own safety, you must maintain awareness at all times, while riding your bicycle.
Also, wear a helmet and appropriate pads. Many riders wear knee pads and elbow pads, along with an approved safety helmet. If you do have a fall, you definitely want your head to be protected from brain trauma.
Be certain that your bicycle equipment is well maintained. It is important to regularly visit the bike shop to have your brakes, tires, and other mechanisms checked out.
Suboxone can be sedating, so before starting bicycle therapy, take this into account.
It is recommended that you get used to Suboxone when you first start taking it or when your dosage is changed. While people generally tolerate Suboxone well and function well on it, Suboxone is still an opioid and it can be sedating for some people at first.
Even if you are sedated when taking Suboxone, you should feel better within a few days and you may possibly be ready to engage in more intensive physical activity. If sedation or other side effects persist, see your doctor about making changes to your outpatient treatment plan.
Suboxone maintenance is well tolerated by most people.
While some people feel tired, have difficulty sleeping, get constipated, or have sweaty palms or other side effects, many people experience few or no side effects.
Still, the best approach is to wait until you are ready to get back out and enjoy physical activity. To start out, for exercise, you may want to start with a stationary bike.
While stationary cycling is not the same as regular cycling, it is still very good for your health. And, you can ride your stationary bicycle inside. On days when it is too hot or too cold outside, a stationary bike is a great solution.
Addiction recovery with medication assisted treatment is an individual process that is different for everyone.
Each person, with the help of their doctor and therapist, can discover what works best for them as individuals to support their treatment program. While physical activity is almost always helpful, each person will have different preferences for what works best for them.
In a bicycle health support program, you may choose to ride your bike short distances within your own neighborhood or local park. On the other hand, if you are more advanced, you may choose to cycle long distances and even in races.
For serious bicycle enthusiasts, joining a cycling club may be a good idea. Many cyclists enjoy riding together in large groups on the road. It is unlikely that anyone in such a group is engaged in active substance abuse, so you will be able to meet new friends who are safe to be around because they do not use drugs.
If you are not interested in bicycling, you may find other physical activities more suitable for your lifestyle. Moderate paced walks outside are generally good for almost everyone. A 30-60 minute walk, 5-7 days per week is an excellent way to get needed exercise as well as helping you to clear your head of negative thoughts.
Swimming is another excellent activity. Swimming can involve fast-paced laps, back and forth in the pool, or it can be simple stationary exercises and relaxed swimming.
Depending on what is available in your area and your interests, you may also enjoy other activities. Horseback riding, golfing, and boating are all fun pastimes, though they may not offer the same intense cardiovascular workout as a fast-paced bicycle ride, swim, or jog.
If you take Suboxone, Subutex, ZubSolv, Bunavail, Sublocade, or Brixadi, now is the time to get involved in physical activity.
Some people who are prescribed buprenorphine treatment rely too much on the medication to provide their entire therapy experience. While the medications are highly effective, it is also important to engage in a full, well-rounded life, filled with enjoyable and rewarding activities.
You should be certain to see your therapist or psychologist on a regular basis. Also, eating a healthy nutritious diet is critical to your success in long-term recovery. In addition to mental health and healthy eating, an exercise program is also important.
As you get more involved in healthy living, you will find that you have less interest in unhealthy activities. If you are a smoker, you will find that smoking is no longer compatible with your lifestyle. Ask your doctor for help with quitting smoking.
And, if you are overweight and interested in getting your health under control, consider seeing a nutritionist or dietician to get back on track with healthy eating. If you want to work out in a gym, a certified trainer can help you to design a safe and effective exercise routine.
For the people who have enjoyed bicycle riding in the past, before addiction took hold, they will likely look forward to returning to their previously loved pastime. Cycling is fun and has many health benefits. Not only is bicycle riding good for physical health, it can be good for mental and spiritual health as well.
As your opioid abuse days move further and further into the past, you will find that your brain continues to heal and improve with time. Suboxone treatment gives the brain time to health by removing the opioid obsessions, cravings, and opioid withdrawal symptoms.
Yet, we must not depend only on Suboxone to do all of the work. Getting active in therapy, group support meetings, good nutrition, and physical activity are all important to supporting a successful recovery program. By practicing a well-rounded program, you will find that long-term success is not hard to achieve.