Can exercise help addiction?

The power of following a regular exercise routine to help maintain sobriety is often underestimated. Exercise and recovery from addiction can help those trying to prevent a relapse. You may be wondering how exercise helps reduce abstinence. When combined with other types of treatment, exercise can prevent relapses by providing a reliable routine, occupying free time, managing mental health, and inspiring greater self-esteem.

While regular exercise may seem overwhelming, it doesn't take much movement to start seeing the benefits of routine physical activity. Many of those who abuse drugs or alcohol neglect important components of daily health, wreaking havoc on both emotional and physical well-being. It's important to repair the psychological and physical damage of chemical dependency, as well as the damaged connection between mind and body. Exercise in the treatment of chemical dependency has many purposes, but there are some major benefits that can be gained from exercising during substance abuse treatment and recovery.

When you use drugs or alcohol excessively, your physical health is affected. When someone is addicted to drugs or alcohol, their brain and body crave the substances that produce endorphins in their brain and create a sense of euphoria. Exercise can help you feel more energetic and less sluggish when you're recovering from addiction. However, exercise alone won't help you understand why you became an addict in the first place, recognize the triggers, or learn more effective ways to control your emotions.

Exercise, when combined with other proven forms of addiction treatment, has been shown to produce protective effects on addiction recovery related to the neurobiological and behavioral outcomes of physical activity. More research is needed to clarify what types and amounts of exercise are potentially useful in treating addiction. Perhaps the biggest incentive to exercise regularly in recovery from addiction is that regular movement can help prevent a return to alcohol or drug use. Over the years, exercise has been recognized as a self-help tool among people recovering from addictions as a support for recovery, but it has only recently been recognized that exercise is a treatment for addiction in its own right.