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Why Exercise Is an Important Element of Rehabilitation

When people have developed an addiction to alcohol or drugs and have taken the first step to recovery by refraining from using, they may not be aware at that stage but they have in fact embarked on a really exciting journey that will see them grow tremendously. In order to prepare patients for the new opportunities that will present themselves as they start a new life in sobriety, it’s crucial that they are in good physical and mental shape.

Much of the importance of effective addiction treatment is placed on replacing negative thoughts and behaviors with more positive ones. Getting into a pattern of regular exercise is one example of a developing a positive habit to replace a bad one and can serve to keep recovering addicts in recovery for the rest of their lives. Not only are there physical benefits of exercise, it is also a confidence boost and introduces discipline into the lives of people who may have lost control through their addiction issues.


The benefits of exercise include:

  • A more effective immune system, making them more resilient to certain medical conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
  • Improved flexibility and less likelihood of developing skeletal problems such as arthritis at a later age.
  • Increased metabolism so that the body burns energy more effectively and BMI is kept in check. It also helps people to maintain their weight and improve their complexion.
  • Improves confidence levels and gives a strong feeling of well-being, particularly after strenuous exercise.
  • Stress-busting, which contributes to a great deal of physical and mental ill-health. Exercise provides a great way of letting off steam.
  • Increased energy levels and a strong sense of determination and discipline

The specific benefits of exercise for recovering addicts:

  • When someone has been addicted to drugs or alcohol for a prolonged period of time, they can often neglect themselves and stop taking care of their bodies. This usually means that by the time they reach rehab, they are in poor shape and an exercise regime is the best way to get them back on the path to full fitness.
  • People who are being treated for addiction to opiates or benzodiazepine rugs often develop restless leg syndrome during withdrawal. This condition means that a sufferer is compelled to constantly move their legs in order to relieve discomfort. Exercise is extremely valuable in treating this condition and easing its symptoms.
  • After attending rehab, people often find that they have a lot of time on their hands and exercise goes a long way to filling these gaps in a positive way. One of the most important ways of reducing the chances of relapse is to prevent down time, where the mind may wander to more negative thoughts. Exercise is the perfect distraction as it also revitalizes and reenergizes to considerably lighten an individual’s mood.
  • Recovering from addiction can be an extremely emotional time, and patients may find the process overwhelming at points. Exercise provides them with the tools to regain control of their emotions and also allows them to burn off some tension in a really positive way.
  • Exercise gives more clarity to thought processes and allows patients to think more clearly about their situation and how they are feeling about things. Many people use exercise as a way of meditating on their lives and often they can come up with some life-changing ideas while working out.
  • Addiction usually comes with low self-esteem which can be boosted significantly by taking regular exercise. Over time, the positive changes in the body become noticeable and so it’s more likely that someone will receive more compliments from others close to them. This positive reinforcement is very beneficial in addiction treatment and psychological recovery.

Tailor-Made Addiction Treatment in Beautiful Surroundings Boosts Effectiveness

Ranch Creek Recovery offers California drug rehab for both inpatients at our facility in Murrieta and outpatients in Temecula for patients in Los Angeles and San Diego. We feel it’s important for people with addiction issues to have personalized programs in our rehab in California which are delivered in luxurious environments with a high staff to patient ratio. Just as exercise is integral to successfully recovering from addiction, so are the surroundings where patients receive their treatment, which is why we are one of the most successful rehabs in California.