The Role of Physical Activity in Rehabilitation

Nutrition is also a major part of a well-rounded and professionally developed addiction recovery program.
Treatment programs are very unique and take varied approaches to helping addicts recover.

The program which is the most flexible, the most dedicated to a personal experience and the most evidence-based will offer most addicts a statistically high chance of a lasting recovery. A program which utilizes different techniques will give the best results.

One of the empirically tested and scientifically based therapies that have been proven to help addicts uses physical activity. This may seem like an unrelated behavior or a mere attempt to distract an addict from abusing their drug of choice; however, there is actual chemical transfer and brain reprogramming that happens when an addict adds physical fitness activities to their life. The best treatment programs allow for a regular, structured and educational emphasis on physical activity.

The endorphins produced by high quality physical exercise can help the patient’s brain adapt to a new reward mechanism, which is produced inside the body instead of being generated by external chemical stimulation. In other words, the addict can use the body’s response to working out to replace, in some quantity, the transmission of chemicals that were released through drug or alcohol abuse. This is an effective and proven way for a treatment candidate to improve their odds of attaining and maintaining sobriety.

In addition, the anger which is so often a part of an addict’s psychological profile will be expressed through the exercise, and the addict will enjoy a release that is otherwise difficult for them to find. The source of some drug and alcohol abuse is this very inability for an addict to find a productive and safe way to manage their anger.  Especially when this is a co-presenting mental health issue alongside the addiction; there is an opportunity for professionals to help the addict reshape their life.

Nutrition is also a major part of a well-rounded and professionally developed addiction recovery program. The dieticians, physical therapists and exercise professionals who serve the addicts striving for recovery will all be working together to design a program which will help the addict to become self-sufficient once they are back out in the world. A workout program which can help the addict to process through emotions and regulate endorphins naturally is a great take-away from recovery. Physical and recreational activities offer a way to utilize new life and coping skills. With the emotions that may arise during the activities, the patient can demonstrate to themselves the capabilities of managing their emotions and stress. They will find out which coping mechanism works for them and which ones they will not be able to use.

Exercise gives the patient a chance to organically create the feeling of happy. Though this may be difficult at first because of the damage to the brain caused by the drug and alcohol abuse, when it does happen, it may be a huge relief to the patient. The liberating feeling of naturally creating an elevated mood is invaluable to an addict.


Distributed by Client Initiatives

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