5 Methods to Use Exercise As Part of Addiction Treatment

Guest Post - Author - Kimberly Hayes


Photo by Victor Freitas on Unsplash

If you’re struggling in your journey to addiction recovery, you aren’t the only one. You might want to look at alternative addiction treatments. According to the New York Times, alternative addiction treatments can be a suitable alternative to traditional 12-step recovery programs. Some methods include psychotherapy, relaxation training, mindfulness meditation, and exercise. Exercise, in particular, can be a healthy supplement to addiction treatment. Here are a few methods you can easily incorporate exercise into your daily life and help you on your road to recovery.

1. Join a gym

Studies have shown that aerobic exercise can reduce cravings for substances. One way to get more into aerobic and anaerobic exercise is to join a gym. When you join a gym, you have access to all kinds of equipment that can help make you stronger. According to Time, researchers have found that gym membership increases your odds 14 times for meeting your physical activity requirements.

Gyms often hold group fitness classes that you can join. You can also hire a personal trainer to help you get started in strength training and personalize your workouts according to what you want. Or, if possible, find a friend who will go with you and you can sweat it out together.

2. Join a recreational sports team

Did you play sports when you were younger? Have you ever wanted to get into soccer but didn’t know how? Consider joining a local recreational sports team. There’s strength in numbers and finding a community can make all the difference. You’ll be able to get your mind off of recovery and live a normal life.

You can search online for local sports leagues. You can find meetups or even social media groups that have plenty of friendly people wanting to get together. Even if you’re a beginner, you can find people willing to teach you and help you learn a new sport or skill.

3. Sign up for group classes

From dance classes to yoga sessions, there’s a group class out there for everyone. What makes group classes effective is that you have a monetary commitment and you’re going as a known beginner. Group classes can offer exercises that work a range of muscles in your body and help you be more well-rounded in your fitness. Plus, you can make friends in the classes you attend.


4. Sweat it out with YouTube

If you’d rather stay home and not experience “gym-timidation,” the Internet is here to save the day. There are a plethora of YouTube channels that feature workouts. You don’t have to make a huge effort of changing your clothes, getting to the gym and figuring out which station is open. YouTube fitness channels are also beginner-friendly, and you can be your own boss and go to your own limits without hurting yourself.


5. Get into a routine

Help yourself by getting into a healthy habit of exercising regularly. Try to make it easy to do the healthy habit and impossible to do the unhealthy habit. A few things that can also help with healthy habits are: getting a friend to work out with you; giving yourself a reward at the end of your exercise; and doing exercises you actually enjoy. You can even sleep in your workout clothes if you exercise in the morning.


Developing healthy habits can make all the difference in your addiction recovery. Relying on only exercise as an alternative to addiction treatment can be unwise, so make sure you’re also consulting regularly with a doctor to help you recover completely. Be patient with yourself and remember that each new day is a new chance. You’ll be able to overcome your struggles in time.



About the Author

Kimberly Hayes enjoys writing about health and wellness and created PublicHealthAlert.info to help keep the public informed about the latest developments in popular health issues and concerns. In addition to studying to become a crisis intervention counselor, Kimberly is hard at work on her new book, which discusses the ins and outs of alternative addiction treatments.