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Why Exercise is Especially Good for Recovering Addicts

It is broadly accepted by the general population and health professionals that exercise is a key component of health at every stage of life, While its health benefits in staving off chronic health conditions and acute illnesses is well known, it is now becoming a key part of therapy for recovering addicts.

When it comes to fitness training in terms of health for any person, improved circulation, a stronger heart, weight maintenance, lower stress, sharper mind and the sweating out of toxins in the body are just a few of the benefits. All of these benefits can be important aids for the recovering addict as they strive to regain a healthy mind and body.


Researchers are now exploring how exercise can specifically help those individuals who are enrolled in substance abuse rehabilitation programs. An increasing number of scientific studies are showing the efficacy of this approach as it becomes more widespread in the world of recovery therapy.

Several recently published studies reported on the benefits of exercise for those with drug abuse problems. A study published in the European Journal of Neuroscience showed that rats who exercised on a wheel had less craving for cocaine and suffered less damage to the brain’s prefrontal cortex than those who did not exercise.

The Scandinavian Journal of Public Health reported that drug abuse clients who incorporated exercise into their rehab programs reported a much improved quality of life and a reduced intake of the drugs that they had been abusing. Study participants reported easier breathing increased energy and an overall more positive feeling about their physical appearance. A Danish pilot study reached similar conclusions of the mood-enhancing effects of exercise.

keep calm and sweat

More specifically, researchers are finding that exercise during the recovery process can play an important role in boosting energy, providing more restful sleep and improving circulation. These all work together to improve mood and reduce anxiety and depression among other positives that aid in swifter recovery. Consequently, residential drug treatment facilities are incorporating exercise into the daily routine of their patients via cardio, yoga, and outdoor exercises.

The healing and recovery process from a substance abuse addiction is dependent on both mental and physical healing processes. Exercise can be an ideal building block to a treatment and recovery program that sets the tone for an ongoing healthy lifestyle.