5 Benefits of Exercise in Addiction Recovery

As a person gets addicted to drugs and alcohol, it can take a significant toll on their body and mind.  When a person develops an addiction, they begin to depend on whatever substance they are abusing.  This makes the individual susceptible to mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and more.  

Fortunately, physical activity can help during your road to recovery.  Exercise in addiction recovery can help you focus on yourself and the improvement you would be making in your recovery journey.

There are several proven benefits to getting regular exercise, whether you are new to addiction recovery or have been sober for a long time. 

Continue reading to learn more about the benefits of exercise in addiction recovery.    

Benefits Exercise in Addiction Recovery

Research suggests that regular exercise can be a potential treatment for substance abuse, but it cannot be the only one. Exercise can reduce the risk of relapse to addiction when combined with other forms of proven addiction treatment. 

The mental and behavioral results of physical activity have been shown to contribute to the protection of addicts during recovery. Here are some benefits of exercise in addiction recovery. 


Addiction recovery can be particularly stressful and can cause relapse if not handled correctly. Through exercise, you can reduce and control your stress. As a result of physical activity, feel-good endorphins are released in the brain and increased circulation, which helps reduce stress.

Increases Energy

Although working out all the time might seem tiring, it does the opposite. At first, it will seem just that; tiring.  But exercising increases the oxygen levels in your body, making you feel more energetic as time goes on.  

Better Sleep

It is not uncommon for people in recovery to have difficulty sleeping. People often believe that using alcohol or drugs will help them get the rest they need. 

Regular exercise can improve both your quality and quantity of sleep.  Exercising can put you into a more normal state of being, and with that, your regular sleep schedule is restored. 

Rebuilds the Body

Being addicted to drugs or alcohol can have a severe effect on the physical body.  More times than not, the addict will be more concerned about finding their choice in drug or drink rather than taking care of their physical state.

During addiction treatment, an individual who is exercising will rebuild their bodies and make themselves stronger. Exercising can also improve an individual’s immune system.   Exercise can also reduce your chances of suffering from severe diseases like cancer, heart disease, depression, and diabetes.

Improving Mental Health

Mental health is also greatly improved by exercise.  A person addicted can go through a lot of mental health conditions such as:

  • Anxiety 
  • Depression
  • PTSD
  • Bipolar Disorder 
  • And more

Aerobic exercises such as jogging, swimming, cycling, walking, gardening, and dancing, have been proved to reduce anxiety and depression.

Staying on a consistent workout plan can alleviate symptoms of mental health conditions while improving other factors like low self-esteem, cognitive function, and social withdrawal. 

So How Can Exercise Help with Recovery?

As previously mentioned, alcohol and drug abuse can have severe effects on the body and mind.  Exercise can most definitely help with the recovery process.    

A study conducted with 38 men and women who have misused substances was put on an exercise plan.  For two to six months, participants were expected to participate in weekly group exercises. In the end, twenty people completed the exercise program. 

In a subsequent follow-up assessment, five individuals reported abstinence, while ten reported that substance use had lessened. 

Exercise can play a significant role and provide many health benefits for a person in addiction recovery.  Not only are there a lot of health benefits, but there are also social benefits.  

Being consistent with an exercise routine can allow you to create a community of like-minded individuals.  A community like this can create a support system that you’ve been looking for during your road to recovery.   

Get Help With Inland Detox Today

If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse sticking to an exercise routine can help you get through addiction recovery. A client’s physical, psychological, and social well-being are considered when designing effective and successful treatment at Inland Detox. 

By embracing our clients’ needs, Inland Detox can help a wide range of individuals get the individual treatment they need to successfully move through detox and on to the next step in their recovery.    To learn more about Inland Detox and our recovery programs, contact us today.