While individuals that have sought rehabilitation treatment for alcohol, drug and behavioural addictions are equipped with the tools, resources and support required to secure a life-long recovery, many argue that addiction recovery truly starts post-rehab.

However, leaving rehab and returning home can be challenging, especially as you begin to navigate your life at home.

Although you will likely have a wealth of support from friends, family members and health professionals, it is not uncommon for you to consider how you can ensure your recovery is not compromised.

If this resonates with you, it may be beneficial to know that exercise is highly advantageous when considering addiction recovery.

Although exercise may well be the last thing on your mind, it is essential to consider that exercise provides a plethora of benefits to those in addiction recovery.

If you are looking to determine how best to continue your addiction recovery, we have provided a wealth of information surrounding how exercise benefits addiction recovery here.


Exercise Releases Those All-Important Feel Good Endorphins

As you participate in exercise, feel-good chemicals, otherwise known as endorphins, are released in the brain. As endorphins are released, pain alleviates and triggers a positive sensation throughout the body that essentially enhances an individual’s mood and provides them with a more optimistic outlook.

While you may not initially feel in the mood to exercise, doing so will help you to navigate any pessimistic thoughts and feelings that you may experience within your recovery that could, when left to escalate, cause you to relapse.

When considering how much exercise you need to participate in to feel the effects of endorphins, as little as 20 minutes of aerobic activities, such as walking or running, could leave you with a spring in your step for up to 24 hours.


Exercise Offers A Distraction From Any Triggers You May Encounter

Throughout your time in rehab, you will have come to understand the factors that caused your addiction to arise and the triggers that may impact your recovery.

Although you will have developed various coping strategies prior to leaving rehab, there are often times when individuals encounter triggers at no fault of their own.

While exercise will not wholly alleviate and dismiss the triggers that could compromise your recovery, exercise can offer a distraction from any triggers you may encounter throughout your recovery.

For example, instead of meeting with friends or family members in social settings that may cause you to come face-to-face with an identified trigger, taking part in a form of exercise, such as a long walk or bike ride with your friend or family member, is highly recommended.

Not only will this enable you to avoid the trigger that you may have otherwise encountered, but you will virtually mitigate your risk of experiencing a relapse.


Exercise Improves The Quality Of Your Sleep

When recovering from an addiction, an individual must overcome the physical and psychological ramifications they have experienced. In many instances, this will see the body and brain require time to recuperate and recover.

While detoxification and rehabilitation will ensure that the body and brain can begin to recover, this often goes well beyond rehabilitation treatment. 

To guarantee that your body and brain can successfully overcome the aftermath of addictions, sleep is vital. Not only does sleep boost your overall health, but it essentially enables your body and brain to recharge.

When considering how exercise benefits addiction recovery, it should be noted that exercise promotes a better night sleep.

Individuals who take part in regular exercise will find it easier to get a good night sleep. In contrast, those who do not participate in regular exercise may find that they struggle to sleep.

Sadly, a lack of sleep is often the root cause of mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression, which are both linked to addiction and relapse.


Exercise Provides Structure To Your Day

As you embark on your addiction recovery at home, you will likely be advised to adjust back into your everyday life gradually. You may also be advised to reduce the number of hours that you work to alleviate any stress that may result in relapse.

If this resonates with you, you may find yourself at a loss with what to do with your spare time. You may find that your days no longer have structure, which could ultimately impair various factors, such as the quality of your sleep.

Regardless of whether you walk, run, decide to go on a bike ride or participate in a fitness class at your local gym, exercise will provide some structure and routine to your day.

In turn, your body and brain will become accustomed to a new routine that will benefit your addiction recovery.


Understanding How Exercise Benefits Addiction Recovery

With an understanding of how exercise benefits addiction recovery, you may well feel somewhat motivated to embrace exercise and incorporate various forms of aerobic movement into your daily routine.

If this resonates with you, we have provided a few tips below that will support you as you look to participate in a form of exercise that will benefit your addiction recovery.

  • – Aim for 30 minutes of aerobic exercise a day, five times a week
  • – Try different forms of exercise to determine what you are more comfortable with
  • – Slowly introduce yourself to exercise by starting with daily walks
  • – Always consult with a medical professional to determine if you are fit for certain forms of aerobic exercise


Contact Nova Recovery Today

If you would like to find out more about how exercise benefits addiction recovery or would like to discuss your recovery with us, please call us today on 01475 303998.

Likewise, if you are worried that your recovery may be compromised, please pick up the phone and contact us today.




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