How Exercise Help You Beat Addiction


Are you looking for ways to overcome your addiction issues? You can opt for a regular exercise routine. You might have heard that most addiction recovery treatment programs usually include therapy sessions. This is vital for handling the mental and emotional state of an individual. This helps the individual to manage their feelings most effectively. 

At the same time, the individual also needs assistance for managing their physical dependency. This is where the role of exercise comes into action. People who are recovering from addiction issues have been using exercise as one of the self-help tools for several years.

Exercise Help You Beat Addiction
Exercise Help You Beat Addiction

That is the reason why most drug recovery centers include exercise in their recovery program. If you want to know more about that, you can view page.  

Benefits Of Exercise

As we have mentioned earlier that in order to deal with the physical symptoms, an individual who is suffering from addiction issues indulge themselves in exercise. Here are some of the major benefits of exercise during your addiction recovery phase. 

Benefit 1: Enhance Mood

Working out is capable of making you feel both mentally and physically better. When you are exercising, it stimulates different types of chemicals inside your brain, and some of the feel-good brain chemicals can actually give your brain a much-needed boost in reducing depression symptoms. 

Due to exercise, as you are getting your blood pumping, your brain also experiences a release of endorphins. They are one of the brain chemicals or neurotransmitters which is able to boost your mood. 

All these chemical messengers are responsible for mitigating your stress levels and pain. Apart from endorphins, exercise also stimulates the production of other neurotransmitters, which can improve your mood. 

They are; 

  • Dopamine.
  • Norepinephrine.
  • Serotonin.

Serotonin can assist you in regulating your mood. You might be surprised to know that serotonin deficiency is most commonly associated with anxiety and insomnia. 

Benefit 2: Replace Your Triggers

When you have completed your usual addiction recovery treatment program, you are again exposed to the outer world. This world also includes the world which made you get into substance abuse in the first place. 

So, it is obvious that you will be exposed to several triggers. In most cases, the company you shoes for becomes the most prominent trigger. When you have an exercise routine, you actually have something to do and also get the opportunity to build a new social network. 

This, in particular, can really help you a lot in avoiding places, people, or other things, which remind you of your substance abuse days. 

Benefit 3: Curb Cravings

Those initial days of quitting any type of addiction are really crucial. This is the time when most of the relapse cases happen. When you suddenly rescue the intake of the particular substance of your choice or stop taking it, your body starts to react to the deficiency. 

As a result, you experience a strong urge to use drugs or any other substance you are dependent on. In this case, exercise can actually assist you in keeping you distracted from cravings and also make them less powerful. 

Benefit 4: Improve Your Sleep

When you are suffering from substance abuse disorder, it is really common to get insomnia when you are trying hard to avoid drugs and other substances. In order to combat withdrawal symptoms, you need a complete 6 to 9 hours of sleep. 

When you start exercising on a regular basis, physical activity will make you tired. As a result, you will be able to fall asleep faster than usual. Also, after working out, your body will cool down at a faster rate. This particular process also can assist you in encouraging your body to sleep and heal. 

Benefit 5: Help You Think Clearly

As we have mentioned earlier, when you are exercising, it stimulates your brain to produce neurotransmitters and also feel-good chemicals. It automatically boosts your mood and emotional state. 

As a result, your mind becomes more active and starts to think more clearly. When your thoughts become more stable, your odds of relapse might go down. 

Benefit 6: Boost Your Self-esteem And Self-control

One of the most prominent benefits of exercise is it boosts your self-esteem and self-control. As exercise boosts your mood and also increases the level of feel-good chemicals. You automatically start to feel better and get rid of all those emotional and mental issues. 

Eventually, you start to handle stressful situations really well. When you develop a certain level of self-control, you become capable of handling addiction-related issues more confidently. 

The Most Effective Exercises

A number of studies have shown that resistance training and aerobic exercise might help with addiction recovery. However, at present, we do not have enough evidence to claim that one particular type of physical activity is better than the other one. 

However, cardio or aerobic exercises get your heart rate up for a considerable period. This particular type of exercise includes the following. 

  • Hiking.
  • Boxing.
  • Swimming.
  • Running.
  • Walking.
  • Water aerobics.
  • Dancing.
  • Light gardening.

On the other hand, resistance or strength-training exercises usually work your muscles, and they include; 

  • Heavy gardening, for example, digging.
  • Lunges or squats.
  • Sit-ups or push-ups.
  • Weightlifting.
  • Some particular types of yoga.


When it comes to substance abuse, most of them do not have proper knowledge and understanding. As a result, we often encounter a lot of doubts and queries. However, we have discussed the effects of exercise on addiction recovery; here, we are answering some of the most common questions people usually have in their minds. 

Q1: How Does Exercise Prevent Addiction?

Experts believe that for addictive substances, regular physical activity can play the role of a healthy stand-in. It is because both exercise and drugs of misuse work on the same part of the brain. Both of them activate the reward pathway and trigger the production of feel-good chemicals like dopamine and serotonin. 

Q2: What Are 5 Ways To Prevent Addiction?

Here are the top 5 ways to prevent substance abuse or addiction. 

  1. Keep a well-balanced life.
  2. Examine the risk factors.
  3. Seek help for mental illness.
  4. Avoid peer pressure and temptation.
  5. Understand how substance abuse develops.

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Edward Long