Exercising on a regular basis can release happy endorphins that boost our mood. And so it’s not surprising that exercise can also be incredibly beneficial for those recovering from alcohol and drug addictions.

Participating in frequent exercise can help those in recovery to overcome relapse triggers, change their mindset, and shift any negative thoughts and emotions.

Here are the benefits of exercise for recovering addicts.


Reduce your stress levels

Stress can have a major impact on all areas of our everyday lives and, if it is not managed correctly, it can put recovering addicts at risk of relapsing. As exercise increases feel-good endorphins in the brain, it can help to give the mind a focus, improve circulation, and reduce stress levels.


Improve your mood

Low mood and mood changes are common side effects of drug and alcohol withdrawal.

Exercise releases endorphins in the brain, meaning when you exercise you automatically feel happier and more positive. Just 30-minutes of exercise a day can have a positive impact on your mood.

Regular exercise can also increase your energy levels so that you are also more productive.


Improve sleep

A lack of sleep can easily alter our mindset and impact our day to day lives. And, for those suffering from addiction, it can often be difficult to sleep.

Exercise has been shown to improve both the quality and quantity of sleep, helping you restore a healthier sleep pattern. So find something you love and stick at it, whether it’s swimming, running, cycling, football or any other sport that inspires you!


A stronger immune system

Participating in regular exercise can also boost your immune system and help protect your body from a range of serious conditions including stroke, heart disease, cancer, depression, diabetes and more.

If you’re fit and healthy, you’ll be better equipped to deal with the process and challenges of recovery.


Avoid relapse

Exercise can play a huge role in preventing you from relapsing, reducing the risk of you turning to alcohol or drugs. Set yourself fitness goals and work towards them, explore and enjoy new sports and push yourself to the limit – you will be amazed at what you can achieve when you put your mind to it.


The best exercises for people in addiction recovery

There is no set exercise routine for addicts in recovery. The most important thing is finding something you enjoy and will stick at – and that’s different for everyone. From gentle movements such as yoga and Pilates, through to running and weightlifting, there’s something for everyone.


Find out more

At ANA Treatment Centres, we facilitate recovery through support and respect, working in collaboration with our clients. To discuss our treatments and services, or discuss your needs, please get in touch with our experienced, supportive team.