Can Exercising Help in Beating Substance Dependence?

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People who need to recover from a certain compulsion and dependence—either intoxicants or some other vices—go through terrible times because of withdrawal. Their bodies become so used to the substance that they crave for it long after it is gone from their routine. As a result, their bodies become so stressed, and they are left feeling anxious, depressed, nervous, and sensitive. People who are recovering will feel all sorts of emotions—from the very highs to the very lows. But once they’re on the path to recovery, it’s very important not to fall into the trap of addiction again. So, how do people with these issues make that happen?

If you experience these issues, sports, arts, music, and plain old exercises are going to help you stay on the path of recovery. Physical activities can shift the tide on the negative emotions associated with people under recovery programs for substance abuse. Instead of focusing your mind on the stressors associated with trying to recover, you can pour your attention into doing activities and exercises that will benefit your physical, mental, emotional, and psychological health.


People recovering from substance dependence have a hard time focusing on anything other than their bodies’ craving for a certain substance. Exercise will help your mind focus on other things. Whether you’re going to the gym or exercising at home, giving your mind something to think about is going to be helpful for your cravings. You need to train your mind to focus on more important things. Physical activities release feel-good hormones that help hone your attention better.



Stress is a particular problem when you are trying to recover. If not properly managed, it is easy to relapse. That’s how exercise is going to help sufferers from not falling into the trap again. Physical activities will help keep your mind off the pressure you feel from families and friends. When you are exercising, your mind is focused on trying to finish a routine one by one. They keep your mind off wanting things that you should not be taking anymore.


Sleep problems are not uncommon in people who are trying to recover from substance dependence. Many people began using narcotics and liquor because they are having a hard time sleeping. So, when they are trying to stop their bodies from craving these substances, they naturally will have a hard time putting themselves to sleep. Their minds will race, and their bodies will try to look for the effect these substances previously had on them.

Exercise will not only make you feel good, but it will also help you sleep better and longer. You will find it easier to sleep when you do at least an hour of exercise every day. While the adrenaline after an exercise will give you the energy you need all day long, it will also relax your muscles later in the day, allowing your body to reach a slumbering state easily.


If you notice that you are having erratic changes in your mood, that’s because your mind and body are going through chemical changes. It’s hard to always be in a good mood when your body is not getting what it thinks it needs. Thankfully, exercises will boost your mood. Similar to a stress-buster, exercise releases happy hormones that provide a feeling of happiness and contentment. According to the Mayo Clinic, thirty minutes of exercise a day will have a positive impact on your mood.


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It’s normal for people who are recovering to be extremely sluggish or energetic at times. They’re either lethargic or too energetic that others can’t even keep up with them. To address this problem, health experts suggest a combination of physical activities, arts, and music. These three will put the spring back in your step. Igniting your passions will give you a sense of purpose so that instead of feeling sluggish, you will want to get up in the morning and try again.

Immune System

People recovering from substance abuse need a strong immune system because their bodies will undergo many changes in a few short months. Regular exercise will help protect the body from serious medical conditions, such as stroke, cancer, heart diseases, diabetes, and depression. It prevents people recovering from substance dependence from being exposed to medications that might push them to relapse.

Physical exercise has such a huge positive benefit to every facet of your life. Whether you’ve had abuse problems in the past or you simply want to take better care of yourself, exercise is the best expression of self-love. A few minutes or hours each week are all it’s going to take to slowly walk away from addiction.

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