Health & Fitness

Benefits of Exercise While Recovering From Addiction

Exercise is an important component of recovering from addiction, with many inpatient and outpatient programs recommending it as a part of treatment. There have been a number of studies that document exercise as a treatment for reducing substance use. Experts at outpatient programs such as implement exercise routinely in treatment as it helps with building a healthier body system overall.

One study on the benefits of exercise with addiction followed 38 people that had been on opioid, cannabis, amphetamines, and cocaine. Twenty of them completed an exercise intervention, and 15 of that 20 had reported abstinence from their substance of choice within a year. Exercise is simply beneficial to many in recovery. Learn about more of those benefits here.

Exercise Reduces Cravings

When a person is struggling with addiction, they are dealing with a major body system change. Their body has changed because of addiction, and it will change again when they go off of it and into withdrawal. Exercise is a healthy way to begin curbing withdrawal. It helps those in recovery to get through withdrawal, but it also reduces cravings.

When your blood begins to circulate in a more healthy fashion, without substances slowing it down, physical activity will pick up naturally. When you initiate it yourself, the benefits of reducing cravings are even better. You can replace the bad hobby with a new one, and you will see a true difference in your overall energy and a reduction in cravings.

New Rewards

The leading reason for using substances is the reward effect found in the brain. People go to their happy place, and they even say that’s what they are doing. It’s a happy they can’t find anywhere else on earth. The substance releases chemicals known as endorphins and dopamine to induce this “high” or this happiness.

Exercise does the same thing, but in a healthier way. Exercise in recovery will replace negative feelings with the endorphin and dopamine rush of being active. It also improves mood overall. An improved mood overall is key to preventing relapse or going to cravings.

Helps With Concurrent Disorders

Many people that struggle with addiction, and probably most of them, have another health problem they are not dealing with. That could be anxiety, depression, PTSD, or other problems that have not been addressed. Most addicts in recovery will enter treatment with another problem like any of these.

When exercise is implemented into their lives, they begin to have an improved outlook. Exercise is known to reduce anxiety, foster a sense of well-being, and even make someone a little happier. You can’t cure anxiety, depression, or PTSD at all. However, you can treat it. If those disorders are a cause of addiction, implementing exercise will help the individual overall.

Get Healthier Today

If you or a loved one is experiencing an addiction crisis, begin making healthier choices today. Seek support at a center near you. Consider putting exercise into your daily living, as a means of reducing cravings, living healthier, and finding natural ways to be in a better mood more frequently. Choose healthier living today.

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