Addiction recovery is a challenging process that requires a combination of different strategies to achieve success. One of the strategies that have proven to be effective in addiction recovery is physical activity. Physical activity refers to any bodily movement that requires energy expenditure, such as walking, running, swimming, or cycling. In this blog post, we will discuss the role of physical activity in addiction recovery.
Physical activity has numerous benefits for individuals in addiction recovery. First, physical activity helps to reduce stress and anxiety, which are common triggers for relapse. When individuals engage in physical activity, their bodies release endorphins, which are natural mood boosters that help to reduce stress and anxiety. Endorphins also help to improve mood and energy levels, which can help individuals to feel more optimistic and motivated about their recovery.
Second, physical activity helps individuals to improve their physical health. Substance abuse can have a significant impact on an individual’s physical health, leading to a range of health issues such as heart disease, liver damage, and respiratory problems. Engaging in physical activity can help to improve cardiovascular health, build muscle strength, and increase lung capacity, which can help individuals to feel better physically and mentally.
Third, physical activity provides individuals with a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Addiction can often leave individuals feeling powerless and hopeless, leading to a lack of motivation and a sense of purpose. Engaging in physical activity can help individuals to set goals and achieve them, providing a sense of accomplishment and boosting self-esteem.
Fourth, physical activity can provide individuals with a healthy outlet for their emotions. Addiction recovery can be an emotional process, and individuals may experience a range of emotions such as anger, frustration, and sadness. Engaging in physical activity can provide individuals with a healthy outlet for these emotions, allowing them to release their emotions in a positive way.
Fifth, physical activity can help individuals to build new relationships and social support networks. Substance abuse can often lead to social isolation, making it difficult for individuals to build and maintain relationships. Engaging in physical activity can provide individuals with an opportunity to meet new people and build new relationships with others who share similar interests and goals.
In addition to these benefits, there is a growing body of research that supports the role of physical activity in addiction recovery. A study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment found that exercise was associated with a higher likelihood of abstinence from drugs and alcohol, as well as improved mental health and quality of life. Another study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research found that physical activity was associated with a reduction in cravings for drugs and alcohol.
In conclusion, physical activity is an essential component of addiction recovery. Engaging in physical activity can help individuals to reduce stress and anxiety, improve physical health, provide a sense of purpose and accomplishment, provide a healthy outlet for emotions, and build new relationships and social support networks. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, we encourage you to reach out to us at Sarasota Addiction Specialists. Our outpatient treatment center offers a range of evidence-based treatment options, including individual therapy, group therapy, and holistic therapies such as yoga and meditation. We are here to help you on your journey to recovery.
Sarasota Addiction Specialists
Phone: (941) 444-6560
1. Zschucke, E., Gaudlitz, K., & Strohle, A. (2013). Exercise and physical activity in mental disorders: clinical and experimental evidence. Journal of preventive medicine and public health, 46 Suppl 1, S12–S21. https://doi.org/10.3961/jpmph.2013.46.s.s12
2. Brown, R. A., Abrantes, A. M., Minami, H., Read, J. P., Marcus, B. H., Jakicic, J. M., & Strong, D. R. (2010). A preliminary, randomized trial of aerobic exercise for alcohol dependence. Journal of substance abuse treatment, 38(4), 251–259. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsat.2010.01.003
3. Loprinzi, P. D., Walker, J. F., & Lee, H. (2015). Association between physical activity and deep abdominal muscle density among colorectal cancer survivors. Journal of psychosocial oncology, 33(1), 28–39. https://doi.org/10.1080/07347332.2014.978144
4. Wang, D., Wang, Y., Wang, Y., Li, R., Zhou, C., & Li, Y. (2014). Effectiveness of exercise interventions in recovery of substance abuse disorder patients: A meta-analysis. Journal of substance abuse treatment, 47(2), 107–116. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsat.2014.03.012