Getting Physical: How Exercise Can Aid In Addiction Recovery

Working toward becoming physically fit can have a lot of benefits. It can improve your health, your mood, and even your mental state. Daily exercise has been shown in studies to boost self-confidence and to help in the battle against depression, stress, and anxiety, and it can prevent major health issues such as diabetes and stroke.

One thing many people may not realize, however, is just how important it can be for individuals who are going through addiction recovery. Besides all the positive changes listed above, exercise, particularly yoga and relaxing workouts, such as swimming, can help you learn to focus and enter into a state of near-meditation, which keeps you in the present rather than thinking about the past or future. This is incredibly beneficial for people who are living a sober lifestyle, especially when they are new to it.

If you’re in recovery and looking for ways to improve the way you feel, here are a few of the best reasons why exercise should be a priority.
Changes your brain in a good way

Daily exercise releases chemicals in your brain that help improve your mood, and it also increases blood flow, helping your circulation and keeping your brain cells active and vital. Some studies have even shown that working out can increase your brainpower. According to, exercise in combination with a well-balanced diet can improve your memory function and ability to reason, meaning you’ll be helping your brain recover along with your body.

Reduces your stress

When you’re in recovery, having a routine is a good thing. It creates some order for your days, as well as gives you something to look forward to or plan for, and it can help you beat stress at the same time. Knowing that you’re going to work out is a great way to start getting back on a healthy track, so set aside some time every day to get active. No matter what you choose to do—running, biking, swimming, yoga, or just dancing in your living room—think of it as your time. You don’t have to worry about answering emails, doing chores, or taking care of anyone but yourself during this time, so you can allow yourself to relax and focus on your breathing.

Helps you relax

Finding ways to cope with depression, anxiety, or other mood disorders that occur as a result of addiction recovery is a big part of getting healthy. One of the best ways to do that is to find places that are soothing and allow you to take a deep breath. Try to visit some beautiful and scenic spots, take a long hike, or practice yoga.

Boosts your confidence

Exercising daily can help boost your self-confidence, something that is often necessary for individuals in recovery. Battling an addiction can take a heavy toll on your relationships and the way you view yourself, but getting outside for a workout can help you feel strong and capable. It can even help you form new social bonds, which is sometimes difficult for people in recovery.

Learning to cope with negative feelings, getting physically fit, and helping your emotions find a safe place are all part of exercising daily, and those are all things that can be enormously helpful to a person in recovery. Talk to your doctor about the best ways to get started, especially if you are on medication or have mobility issues.