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The Benefits of Exercise on Addiction Recovery

Exercise can help with controlling addiction behaviours. It can act as a supplement to the vice. Many times, people become addicted because they want to feel that high. Since exercise releases endorphins (feel-good neurotransmitters) and acts as a natural painkiller it can be effective in supplementing the effect. Because it can decrease, stress, anxiety, and depression it can assist in the effects of withdrawal. It can also act as a distraction, increase cognitive function, and improve overall health.


However, it is important to note that exercise should not become a new addiction, and this is something to be mindful of when working in addiction recovery. The best way to get started is to find an activity that interests you and is accessible. It is also helpful to have a workout buddy to hold you accountable and encourage you along your road to recovery.


Forms of exercise include but are not limited to:

  • weight lifting

  • sports (swimming, basketball, hockey, etc.)

  • walking

  • biking

  • hiking

  • yoga

  • pilates


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