How to Harness Physical Fitness to Support Your Addiction Recovery Journey

Updated: Oct 25, 2021

If you're recovering from a substance abuse addiction, regular physical exercise can play an important role in your recovery. According to The Gateway Foundation, exercise offers physical and mental health benefits, from providing structure and routine to curbing cravings and relieving stress. This guide explains how to harness exercise to facilitate your recovery and provides tips on how to manage mental health and establish a healthy overall routine.

Find a form of physical fitness that fits your needs.

There are many different types of physical activity. Don't settle for a form of exercise that you don't enjoy. Try different options, from pilates to Zumba, weight training, swimming, and cycling. Working out with a supportive community like Soul Health Chronicles is one option. You can explore both group and 1:1 fitness training with Shawnte’.

Invest in tech tools to stay motivated.

Maintaining a regular workout routine can be challenging. Stay motivated with the right tech tools. Verizon has a great selection of headphones you can use to listen to music when you're breaking a sweat. Check out the various models from brands like JBL and Beats to find one that fits your budget. Other possible useful tools include fitness trackers, step counters, or smartwatches. If weight loss is part of your recovery agenda, you can also get a smart scale to track your progress.

Consider working out with a friend or group.

Still struggling to get motivated to hit the gym? Consider grabbing a friend to join you. A workout buddy offers numerous advantages, providing healthy competition, keeping you accountable, and encouraging you to achieve your goals. Plus, working out with a partner is simply more fun. If you don't have a friend you can turn to, join a group exercise class. You're sure to make connections.

Don't forget to address the mental component of addiction recovery.

While the physical component of addiction recovery is important, the mental component is also critical. Be proactive about minimizing stress in your day-to-day life since this is a common trigger for addiction. Further, make sure you're getting the ongoing support you need as you adapt to sobriety. Talking to a professional therapist can be useful. Mental Health American provides resources to help you find the right care.

Establish a long-term plan for your physical and mental well-being in recovery.

Sobriety is a lifelong commitment. Take steps to ensure that the physical and mental health changes you are making in the early stages of recovery become lifelong habits. Meditopia explains that forming long-term habits requires shifting your routine. So, if you want to start exercising regularly, identify set times in your schedule to schedule your workouts. Treat those appointments as unbreakable commitments and they will become lasting habits.

Be prepared for possible setbacks.

Even if you take all the right steps, you're sure to experience challenges throughout addiction recovery. Be prepared. Psych Central offers tips for addressing triggers. For example, you might create a trigger plan, a set series of steps you take when you're feeling tempted, like going for a bike ride or attending a meeting. Regular support group meetings can prove useful in the face of challenges or setbacks. Very Well Mind offers tips for finding meetings near you and offers resources for Alcoholics Anonymous and more.

The road to recovery isn't always easy. Exercise is one tool that can help make it simpler. Follow the above tips to support your success on your sobriety journey.

Written by Jason Lewis

Soul Health Chronicles LLC is a health and fitness business that develops fitness programs, events, personal training, coaching and more. Learn how to become part of SHC at

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