Best Types of Exercise for Addiction Recovery

Best Types of Exercise for Addiction Recovery

Runderwear is a great supporter of mental health initiatives, which is why this month’s guest blog has been written by Jason Lewis to highlight how exercise can aid addiction recovery.

Addiction recovery is one of the hardest things to go through. If you’re looking for a little bit of help during this difficult time, try regular exercise. Believe it or not, a physical fitness regimen can help you maintain your mental health as well as physical. Exercise can also help a person in recovery better manage stressors, triggers, and cravings. We’ve compiled this list of the best types of exercises that will help make the biggest impacts on your recovery.



Long-held as a perfect form of exercise, running is inexpensive, you can go for a run just about anywhere and truly, our bodies are built for running. Best of all, running offers additional benefits other than getting in shape. Runners can experience a boost in mental health, less stress and increased happiness. Getting started doesn’t take much. A decent pair of running shoes, comfortable running underwear and apparel, and a will to move are really all you need in order to hit the pavement.



The United Kingdom tops the list for the country with the most substance dependence or abuse. So, why are addiction specialists recommending yoga in place of a traditional, 12-step program? Yoga offers a variety of benefits to those going through addiction recovery. It allows you to access a state of mind that’s peaceful and restorative, which you weren’t able to find when you’re struggling with addiction. Yoga is one of the most relaxing types of exercise, and it’s been proven to reduce stress, anxiety and depression that can arise with going through addiction treatment. Substance abuse can put wear and tear on your body, and yoga is a way to regain your strength and learn to love your body again. It’s a challenging type of exercise that requires commitment and concentration and these are skills that you learn that you can carry on into your recovery.



It’s true that nature can cure all, even addiction struggles. So, it’s no wonder that hiking is a popular exercise choice among those in recovery. Whether you decide to go for short hikes around your city or attempt to hike a trail that takes you half a year (ala Cheryl Strayed in Wild), there are many lessons that you can take from being in the great outdoors.

A good hike can help you develop self-esteem and self-awareness. What you may think is impossible suddenly doesn’t seem so far out of reach, and you learn that you’re able to accomplish anything you set your mind to, even recovering from substance abuse. Hiking is a great way to clear your mind and get away from the daily distractions of work or your home life. Not only can being out in nature aid in recovery, but it can also help your mental health and allows you develop a deeper appreciation for what you have in your life and not to take anything for granted.


Team sports

Going through substance abuse can make you feel like you’re alone in this world. So, that’s why team sports are a recommended exercise for those going through addiction recovery. Football, tennis and rugby are just a few sports that require you to be part of a team. Regularly playing and practicing with your team members will help you develop new relationships and trust with others. When you learn to work together with others to achieve a common goal, while also having fun, you’ll realize that you’re not alone in your recovery, and that you have others you can turn to. You’ll get to experience the joy of being part of a group, and you’ll also be able to discover your potential you didn’t realize was there.



Addiction recovery comes with its frustrations. And, that’s why boxing is sometimes recommended to those going through addiction recovery. Not only are you able to learn new skills and build strength, but also you can punch out all of the frustrations you’re feeling when you’re trying to stay sober. Whether it’s a painful life event that caused you to go down the path of drug addiction or the temptations you’re feeling every day to quit. Boxing can help you hone in on these frustrations and relieve stress. You can work with a trainer who will help you rebuild your self-esteem and mold you into a new, healthier person.


Exercise is truly the perfect complement to an addiction recovery program, and with a little motivation and finding the right exercise for your situation, you can combine your sobriety and fitness journeys.

- Written by Jason Lewis

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