Aug 14, 2018 | By Brittany Cahill

5 Ways Exercise Will Help Your Sobriety


If you’ve been recovering from an addiction, you may have been recommended to start exercising. Whether it’s a small intervention for alcohol, or whether you’ve spent time in one of the Recovery Centers of America, you’ll commonly be advised to exercise.

Yet, if you ask most people why this is, they usually don’t know. While answers like “its good for you,” and “it helps with withdrawal and sobriety” are common, they only scratch the surface.

The truth is, there is a wide range of benefits of exercising for recovering addicts. These vary from direct benefits to health and willpower, to indirect benefits like enabling permanent sobriety and creating a healthy environment.

Below, we take a look at all the ways that exercise can help you recover from your addiction and improve your health. We also look at ways you could implement some of the forms of exercise to help your journey to sobriety.

Helping Willpower

One of the biggest effects that exercise can have is in helping willpower and motivation. This is a perk that often gets attention from anyone who starts working out. But, it’s especially beneficial for recovering addicts.

Temptation is a huge issue for previous addicts and is the primary cause of relapse. So, boosting motivation, mood and willpower can all help ensure addicts fully recover and stay sober.

Creating A Positive Community

One of the more indirect benefits of starting exercise that rarely gets talked about. Joining a gym or starting a new sport opens up a whole new community. Exercising other only serves as a means to get healthier, but also opens up avenues for meeting new people.

These communities not only make exercise more pleasant but also create a network of positive people that can help you avoid old habits which lead to substance abuse in the past.

Improving Lifestyle

Aside from providing more positive and health-conscious people to be around, exercising while rehabilitating can help improve every aspect of your life. Generally, those who exercise eat better than those who don’t. They also tend to have a better social life.

All of these lead to better physical and mental health, both of which are highly needed in former addicts. This can have the indirect effect of making recovery more enjoyable and more successful for former addicts undergoing treatment.

Assisting Your Detox

One of the many benefits of exercise includes improving liver health and function. Regular exercise can also improve kidney health. Both of these organs are vital in ridding your body of toxins. So, they are especially important for those who’ve abused drugs in the past.

Using exercise to boost the functionality of these organs can help get rid of the toxinss caused by substance abuse and recovery and help get addicts back to good health quicker.

Creating A Positive Environment

By providing more positive people, a more health-conscious lifestyle and a list of positive health effects, exercise can help promote an overall more positive environment for addicts. This has a beneficial impact on mood and mental health. This can mean a further reduction in chances of a relapse and improve the quality of life of addicts.

What Type Of Exercise Is Best?

Having looked at the range of benefits that come from exercising during recovery, the next question becomes “which exercise is best?”

The answer is actually a combination of them all. Using aerobic exercises like jogging, cycling, swimming or circuit training can all help improve mood, blood flow, and breathing. Meanwhile, weightlifting can help boost muscle mass, metabolism and improve capability.

Both should also have similar benefits on organ health and for creating a more positive environment. So, combining the two types of exercise can help provide the best of both worlds.

Carry out a mix of aerobic exercise 2 times per week, and weight training 3 times per week. This will make for a highly effective exercise program that can improve your health and keep you on the best path to sobriety possible. It should also help provide addicts with a framework for a healthy lifestyle. This will help after your road to recovery is complete and you’re looking for a healthy hobby or passion. 

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