Fitness and Addiction Recovery: The Best Exercises to Do to Stay on Track

Fitness and Addiction Recovery

Staying sober is no easy feat. Most people with addictions feel anxiety about losing control and falling back into old habits. But with the right tools to help you cope, you can stay sober and enjoy a healthy recovery.

Staying occupied is an important part of the recovery process and exercise is one of the best ways to do that. It helps you keep your mind off using drugs or alcohol and acts as an excellent stress reliever that helps you blow off steam.

Below, we discuss the benefits of regular exercise in recovery and beyond, as well as some of the best exercises you can do as you grow more comfortable with your sobriety.

If you or someone you love is ready to start the recovery process, Purpose Healing Center is here to help. We provide detox and inpatient recovery for drug and alcohol addictions. Contact our admissions staff 24/7 at 480-579-3319 to learn how we can help.

What are the benefits of exercise in addiction recovery?

Exercise is important for everyone, but it becomes even more important for people in recovery. There are a few reasons why it’s good for recovering addicts to hit the gym.

  • Maintaining good health: When you’re living with an addiction, your health often takes a backseat. Exercise helps you improve your overall condition and maintain a healthy weight, heart and lungs.
  • Mood stabilization: Exercise is a proven method for battling anxiety and depression, especially aerobic exercise.
  • Improved sleep: Individuals who exercise regularly sleep longer, fall asleep faster, and enjoy better quality sleep, all of which are important to a successful recovery.
  • Improved impulse control: Exercise is a great way to train the brain to illicit better self-control and better control of one’s impulses, issues that commonly plague those who live with addictions.
  • Stress reduction: Exercise helps the body to release endorphins, the neurotransmitters responsible for happiness and reducing pain and anxiety. It also releases serotonin, which helps the body feel calmer. These neurotransmitters can significantly reduce stress at a time when stress levels are likely at their highest.
  • Craving relief: Exercise acts as a great distraction for those in recovery, and that distraction can reduce the constant thoughts of drugs or alcohol and lead to a reduction in cravings.

Reap the benefits of a healthy recovery that incorporates exercise. Contact our admissions staff today at 480-579-3319 to start your recovery journey.

Which types of exercise are best in addiction recovery?

Any type of exercise is good but there are some that can make it feel easier to cope with addiction and the various issues that patients face while undergoing the recovery process.


Walking is one of the easiest forms of exercise to engage in. It’s low-impact, which makes it safe for nearly everyone, and it doesn’t require any specialized equipment or memberships to do. You can walk anywhere, with anyone, and at any time. Best of all, it’s not too challenging so if your recovery feels overwhelming, your exercise routine doesn’t have to.

If you plan to walk while in recovery, it’s okay to start small. Begin with a slow, 10-minute walk every day. Getting outdoors for your walk can help you feel invigorated and relaxed but if the weather doesn’t permit, walking indoors is okay, too. As you get used to walking, extend the amount of time you’re out and pick up your pace if you feel comfortable enough to do so.


The best part of dancing is that it gets your heart racing and your blood pumping without actually feeling like work. This aerobic exercise is good for your mood, your posture, your tone and your cardiovascular health, and best of all, it’s fun and often social enough to keep you feeling engaged with other people.

Strength Training

Strength training consists of exercises to help you strengthen and stabilize your core, as well as lifting weights to tone muscles in your arms, legs, buttocks, back and chest. Strength training is a great way to refocus yourself on a new goal (the goal of changing your tone and physique) as well as build confidence in yourself.


If you’re looking for an exercise that will help you relax and de-stress, yoga is among the best options. While yoga does provide you with the movement your body needs to increase strength and overall health, it’s also a very mindful practice that helps you work on your mental health as much as your physical health, which makes it a great option for those in recovery.


Swimming is one of the safest and most effective aerobic exercises for individuals at any fitness level. Because it’s a low-impact exercise, it’s extremely easy on your joints, and it works to build new muscle and improve your respiratory and cardiovascular health.

Finding the Right Exercise Routine

Exercising is an important part of any healthy lifestyle. It’s an easy way to improve your overall health and wellness, as well as reduce stress. But above all else, it’s important for recovering addicts to find an activity that they enjoy, especially since a big part of exercise in recovery is creating a distraction from cravings.

If the exercises mentioned earlier don’t appeal to you, think of another activity that does. Whether it’s playing hockey or tennis, taking a pilates class, or riding a bike, find something that you’ll be able to stick with.

Get Help With Drug and Alcohol Addiction Today

If you or someone you love is battling an addiction to drugs or alcohol, there is hope. At Purpose Healing Center, we’re committed to helping you or the person you live find peace and joy through a healthy recovery journey. We provide a variety of programs to help our patients get through this process in a way that works best for them, including detox and residential inpatient treatment, partial hospitalization programs, and intensive outpatient care.

Call our admissions counselors at 480-579-3319 to discuss your options and find the help you need to get on the right path today.