5 Reasons Why Exercise is Beneficial For Addiction Recovery

Posted April 29, 2019 by in Health + Fitness

Do you like to workout? Perhaps you go to the gym every day? Keep at it—that’s one of the greatest things that you can do for your health. Not only will it strengthen your heart and lungs, but it’ll lower your risk of certain diseases such as diabetes and cancer. 

There are other benefits as well. For instance, it can reduce stress and boost your mood. That’s not all—it can also help with addiction recovery. How does that work? What does exercise have to do with drug addictions? Want to know? Here are some ways that exercise can help.

*Need more support? Try visiting one of the addiction treatment centers in your area. 

  1. It Helps to Relieve Stress

Exercise alleviates both physical and mental stress. It boosts the production of serotonin—the “feel good” chemicals in your brain. 

Why is this important?

Those who are stressed are much more likely to self medicate with drugs or alcohol. By partaking in physical activity, individuals will be able to reduce stress in a healthy manner. This will allow them to stay clean and sober.

  1. It Can Improve Your Sleep

Physical activity improves sleep quality and duration. One way it does this is by lowering the body’s temperature. In fact, an individual’s overall fitness can be an indicator of sleep quality. This is important—after all, it’s not uncommon for drug cessation to cause insomnia.

With exercise, you’ll be able to get a good night’s sleep, which will leave you feeling refreshed during the day. 

  1. It Reduces Drug Cravings

Cravings are a normal part of addiction recovery. To put it simply, an individual will feel a physiological urge to consume the drug that is being withheld. These feelings are generally the strongest during the first couple of months of abstinence.

Research has shown, however, that physical exercise can reduce these cravings. In one study, regular treadmill sessions over a two-week period allowed heavy marijuana users to cut their cannabis use by over 50 percent.

  1. It Boosts Your Mood

Exercise will boost your mood. How? It increases the release of endorphins—neurotransmitters that make you feel good. According to the Mayo Clinic, as little as 10 minutes of exercise a day can help to relieve depression symptoms.

This is great news for those who are struggling with “the blues”—something that is very common in the early recovery process. In fact, it’s a known relapse trigger.

  1. It Increases Self Confidence

Drug addictions often rob its victims of self-confidence. Unfortunately, this can have a negative effect on their recovery. Fortunately, there’s a way to combat this—by exercising. Studies have shown that physical activity can help an individual regain a healthy sense of self.

For those who are recovering from addiction, this is another compelling reason to start exercising.

Tackling Your Addiction One Step at a Time

The bottom line is—there are many benefits of exercise in addiction recovery. Wouldn’t you want to set yourself up for success?

How did exercise help you? Let us know in the comments below!