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How Physical Fitness is Beneficial in Recovery

physicalfitnessrecoveryThe benefits of exercise for the body, mind and even the spirit are no secret. Regular exercise helps to improve cardiovascular health, enhance circulation, promote muscle tone, maintain a healthy weight, and cleanse toxins from the body.

Physical fitness also helps to relieve stress, boost the mood and sharpen the mind. More recently, researchers have found evidence that exercise helps those in treatment for substance abuse to have a higher chance for success on their path to long-term recovery.

Benefits of Exercise in Recovery

A number of published studies have verified the effectiveness of regular physical activity to support a lifestyle that is no longer ruled by addiction. People in treatment for drug addiction generally have a higher quality of life and a reduced intake of drugs when they incorporated exercise into their treatment program.

Our experience is that exercise helps to strengthen the positive effects of treatment.

In most cases, recovering from addiction and substance abuse benefits most from a holistic approach. Treating the body, mind and spirit contributes to addressing addiction issues physically, mentally and spiritually.

Studies and anecdotal results have consistently shown that incorporating physical fitness into an addiction treatment program accelerates improvement and helps to establish new, healthy habits and routines into the client’s lifestyle.

The Body-Mind Connection

The mind tends to be calmer and more focused when the body engages in regular stress-reducing exercise. Self-esteem rises as the body looks and feels better, arming the recovering person to more effectively handle emotional stresses both during treatment and after.

Clients benefit both physically and mentally from regular exercise while in substance abuse treatment, and the positive effects are felt both cumulatively (over time) as well as during and immediately after the actual exercise sessions.

The benefits of physical activity both during and after an alcohol or drug abuse rehab treatment program can be summarized as follows:

The Physical Benefits of Exercise

  • Improved cardiovascular health
  • Improved muscle strength
  • More energy throughout the day
  • More effective weight loss and ideal weight management
  • Improved circulation/cleansing of toxins
  • More restful sleep

The Psychological Benefits of Exercise

    • Improved mood
    • Reduced anxiety and depression
    • Higher self-concept
    • Sharpened mental focus
    • A positive, healthy activity to replace unhealthy habits


We are aware of the value in incorporating exercise programs and activities into the daily routine of people in recovery. Popular exercise programs within treatment facilities can include:

  • Cardiovascular activity (treadmill, stationary bike, stairmaster)
  • Circuit training
  • Weight training
  • Aerobics classes
  • Stretching and calisthenics
  • Yoga
  • Outdoor Activities

A regular exercise program can benefit anyone from any walk of life, but it offers specific benefit to people recovering from an addiction. Cardiovascular activities boost the mood and aid in the release of toxins from the body at a cellular level.

Weight training increases strength and self-esteem. Yoga can help calm anxieties, reduce stress and foster spirituality. Some facilities have walking trails on the property for patients to enjoy their cardio workouts in the healing energy of nature.

Intervention Services and Coaching Can Help

There’s no doubt that exercise helps to strengthen the body and heal mind, so it’s no wonder more and more treatment centers are incorporating physical fitness into their treatment programs. Let Intervention Services and Coaching help you or your loved one find the right treatment center that will offer a fitness program to assist in a total recovery from drug use.

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