How Exercise Helps in Addiction Recovery


Physical activity during addiction recovery offers many benefits including boosting a person’s mood and reintroducing natural levels of endorphins in the body. People struggling with addiction recovery can stay on their path to quick recovery with regular exercise.

Exercise not only offers benefits to the physical well-being, it is also a good way to improve your mental and emotional health which further help in speedy recovery from any kind of addiction. Most of all, exercise helps us stay more focused and concentrate while also dealing well with cessation. Here are some of the ways in which exercise helps in addiction recovery.

Helps in Withdrawal

Substance withdrawal is an unpleasant experience which occurs when an addictive substance, like alcohol or drugs, or an addictive behaviour, like gambling or overeating, is discontinued. Exercise has been proven to reduce all the major withdrawal symptoms including anxiety, depression and stress. Exercise also helps in reducing cravings (especially in nicotine withdrawal) and boosts the mood.

Exercise Helps in Preventing Relapse

Research suggests that regular exercise helps in reducing the risk of relapse in people with addictive behaviour while reducing drug cravings and improving the outcomes of the treatment. The best way is to follow an exercise routine in combination with other regular treatments for effective results. People who are able to exercise regularly are less likely to relapse while forced exercise is shown to have the opposite effect.

Exercise Helps in Controlling Emotions

Feel-good chemicals known as endorphins are produced when you exercise. This is kind of a natural response which most of the addicts explain experiencing while taking alcohol or a recreation drug. As these chemicals are produced naturally, it looks like there is no need for the body to depend on substance for the same effect and this helps in naturally staying away from such substances.

Exercise Benefits the Mind

As much as exercise helps your body physically, it also helps you mentally and has the same effect as when you do meditation. Exercise makes you feel a greater sense of confidence and security and helps in re-establishing the mind-body connection while also improving the thinking skills and memory. As this boosts self-esteem and offers a sense of accomplishment, it can help in overcoming addiction due to the feel-good factor.