Exercise and Addiction Recovery: Why They Go Together

Substance abuse and addiction can have a large, harmful impact on a person’s body. With the use of drugs and alcohol, a body can go through a rough time, both during and after use. When someone goes to addiction treatment to find lasting sobriety, their body chemistry changes, with the lack of substances. Anxiety, depression and sensitivity to the stress of life and recovery can often be overwhelming. In this time, it is extremely important to remain healthy with a proper diet and exercise.

While exercise is great way for any person, exercise can be especially beneficial to someone who is newly sober. Did you know that exercise can reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer by up to 50% and lower your risk of early death by up to 30%? On top of this, exercise can help newly-sober people in these areas:

1. Exercise can greatly improve your sleep quality 

In the initial stages of addiction recovery, many people find it difficult to sleep. While an individual may have been used to sleeping while intoxicated or high, they may find it difficult to get the proper amount of rest without their substance of choice. However, these substances were never truly helping them get quality, consistent sleep. Regular exercise can greatly improve a newly-sober person’s quality of sleep.

2. Exercise can greatly reduce stress

From the time of living in the thralls of an addiction, to choosing to seek addiction recovery, a person can experience a lot of stress. The stressors of life — bills, responsibilities, relationships, careers — can all be impactful on their own. By adding in an addiction, and then fighting that addiction, the outcome can often be an anxiety-ridden and stressed out mess of a person. However, there are ways to combat this! Exercise is a great way for a newly-sober person to reduce stress. Did you know that physical activity releases certain chemicals in the brain and improves circulation? These both help with stress and can even calm anxiety.

3. Exercise can positively impact someone’s mood

While someone goes through addiction recovery, they may experience many different mood changes or swings, throughout their time in treatment. Exercise can also help by boosting an individual’s mood, positively. When someone uses drugs, they often sought the feel-good, addictive qualities that came from their substance abuse. Exercise can naturally produce those feel-good chemicals, known as endorphins, which provide feelings of positivity and aiding well-being.

4. Exercise can promote a stronger immune system 

Did you know that exercise can promote a stronger immune system? According to the The Office of Disease Prevention and Health, regular exercise helps protect your body from certain serious conditions such as cancer, stroke, heart disease, depression, diabetes, and osteoporosis.

5. Exercise can increase energy levels

We know that recovery can often feel tiring, and sometimes, exhausting. However, exercise can actually increase a person’s energy levels. While it may seem contradictory — since you expend energy when exercising — it actually renews your energy levels by the end of a workout.

6. Exercise can aid in preventing relapse from recovery 

Did you know that exercise can aid in preventing a relapse from recovery? This is perhaps the biggest benefits of exercise, for a person in recovery, of all. One study found that 69 percent of alcoholics whose rehab program included daily exercise stayed sober 90 days following treatment versus 62 percent who did not get exercise and relapsed.

Exercise can also be a treatment method.

In many addiction treatment centers, exercise can also be used as a part of a person’s treatment. At Renewal Health Group, we often incorporate exercise into our treatment plans.

At Renewal, we believe in the need to nourish the whole person. Part of that equation involves regular fitness at our health centers which allow you to focus on creating a positive self-image on both a mental and physical level. Regular exercise increases motivation to maintain a consistent schedule and unlocks a healthy perspective on the balance between mental self-care and physical self-care.

Do you or someone you know need addiction treatment?

At Renewal Health Group, we want to help you discover the real You, free from the chains of addiction. Our team is a carefully assembled group of sophisticated healthcare professionals who have found their calling in providing therapeutic healing for the disease of addiction, with a supreme focus on results and outcomes.

If you or someone you needs treatment, call our caring team at (888) 226-7413.