Exercises That Are Commonly Used During Addiction Recovery

Exercise is often used in conjunction with other treatment methods to help addicts recover. Below are some of the most common exercises that are used when treating addiction.

For many addiction recovery programs, yoga is an important tool. Not only is yoga good for the body but it is also good for the mind. Yoga helps to improve flexibility, loosening up the muscles and making the body more limber again. It also is excellent for building strength. Difficult poses stimulate the release of dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter that creates positive feelings. Yoga also provides an opportunity to look inward. Restorative yoga creates a calm, meditative state that is ideal for relieving anxiety and reducing stress.

Walking Outdoors
According to drug rehab center Sage Recovery, many treatment programs encourage patients to walk or hike outdoors. Again, this type of exercise can encourage increased dopamine production. Walking is particularly beneficial for battling cravings. Taking a walk for just 15 minutes is usually enough for addicts to beat a craving. As an added bonus, walking also can benefit the brain by encouraging the growth of new brain cells.

Weight Training
Oftentimes, people focus on cardiovascular exercises. As it turns out, however, exercises that build strength are also beneficial in helping during the recovery process. Lifting weights, doing push-ups, and performing other weight training exercises can promote better sleep. Getting a good night’s sleep is essential during the recovery process.

Playing Sports With Teammates
Football, basketball, and other team sports provide an opportunity to build friendships. The majority of addicts who enter a treatment program are usually quite isolated. Playing sports with others is a great way to build relationships with other people who are working to live sober lives. The friendships that are created in a recovery program are extremely beneficial after the program ends. They provide essential support for addicts when they go back to their everyday lives.

Depending on the treatment facility, a variety of other fitness choices may be available. For instance, some programs offer their patients climbing walls or obstacle courses. For patients, being able to overcome these challenges can give them a much-needed confidence boost. At the same time, these types of activities encourage the release of dopamine. One of the biggest lessons that patients take away from these types of physical activities is that they have the strength to overcome any obstacles that get in their way.


Recovering from addiction requires a multipronged approach. Along with traditional treatment tools such as journaling or meeting with others in group sessions, adopting a regular exercise program can go a long way toward helping addicts recover.