5 Benefits of Exercise in Addiction Recovery

The Role of Exercise in Recovery

The idea that exercise is inherently beneficial for our overall well-being is not a foreign concept to anyone. There are numerous mental and emotional advantages to daily exercise beyond just the physical health benefits.  For people in recovery, regular exercise routines can significantly enhance their chances of staying clean and sober. In recovery, exercise represents a critical component of long-lasting sobriety. When individuals have fitness goals, it allows them to direct their energy and utilize their free time constructively, always working toward bettering their strength and agility. 

Not only does working out daily add structure to your everyday routine, but it also boosts your mood and improves your mindset by releasing the body’s own inherent ‘feel-good’ chemicals. These chemicals include endorphins (which aid in the relief of stress and pain), dopamine (responsible for reward and motivation), and serotonin (produces feelings of happiness). 

Read on to learn more about the role these chemicals play in addiction recovery and the importance of developing healthy routines during drug treatment.  

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, call WhiteSands Alcohol and Drug Rehab today at 877.969.1993 to learn how we can help.

How Exercise Promotes Long-Term Success in Recovery  

Exercise remains a valuable part of a holistic addiction recovery program and should be incorporated into daily schedules. While the benefits of regular exercise can often be seen through physical changes such as weight loss and increased muscle tone, the mental benefits of exercise can drastically improve how people manage their recovery.    

People who have struggled with long term substance abuse have typically neglected their health for a long time, making them weaker and more vulnerable to illness. However, finding physical and mental strength through exercise can help. Some of the ways exercise supports life-long recovery include: 

  1. Improving sleeping patterns: Studies suggest that exercise contributes to better sleep, which enhances mood and decision making. When individuals are well-rested, their minds can perform better which in turn, can help people to avoid unwanted temptations. 
  2. Releases chemicals in the brain responsible for making us feel better: Exercise produces chemicals in the brain responsible for directly improving our mood and boosting our mental outlook. Many people experience a ‘natural high’ after working out due to the brain’s elevated ‘feel-good’ chemicals. 
  3. Enhancing cardiovascular health: Exercise has been clinically proven to improve cardiovascular health and decrease cholesterol levels, which lessens the chance of heart disease. 
  4. Keeping recovering addicts busy and occupied during their free time: When recovering addicts are active and concentrated on their fitness, they avoid the feelings that may lead to relapse. The emotions that should be avoided to mitigate the chance of relapse include H.A.L.T (Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired). When individuals are busy with daily, healthy routines, they can better manage their mental well-being when these negative emotions arrive. 
  5. Using exercise as a healthy coping mechanism and trigger management tool: When we get frustrated, having an outlet to funnel our energy into is crucial to avoiding turning to drug or alcohol use. When individuals are confronted with a situation they feel may put their sobriety at risk, knowing how to cope with the dilemma and exit the problem is key to long-term recovery. Joining a gym is a great coping mechanism as individuals can channel their stress into their workouts.  

How the WhiteSands Boxing Program Can Help

The WhiteSands Treatment KO Addiction Boxing Program is a very healthy and beneficial contributor to long-term sobriety. Boxing not only improves physical strength but mental awareness as well. It is a combat sport, combining strength, endurance, and agility, which makes it an excellent form of exercise for recovering addicts.  

Our professional boxing trainers are trained to help not only teach boxing skills to our clients but serve as mentors as well. Our recreational facilities are designed to provide a positive atmosphere for anyone trying to use exercise as a way to combat addiction. Don’t let addiction control your life any longer, contact WhiteSands Treatment to discover how we can help you regain control of your life through daily exercise routines. 

If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the WhiteSands Treatment at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.

About the Author

is a proud alumni member of WhiteSands Treatment. After living a life of chaos, destruction and constant let downs, Mark was able to make a complete turnaround that sparked a new way of life. He is serious about his recovery along with helping others. At WhiteSands Treatment, we offer support to you in your homes or when you are out living in your daily lives.