Beating a drug or alcohol addiction can be a long and difficult road. Experts will often list a wide range of different steps to take on the road to sobriety, yet sometimes gloss over just how helpful a daily exercise routine can be for recovering addicts. Here are five amazing ways that working out can help to overcome addiction.

Helping To Replace A Substance

Addiction to both drugs and alcohol is a sickness. It becomes part of a routine that takes over an addicts life and can often become the only thing they feel is needed. Recovering addicts that adopt a strict exercise routine will often find it replaces whatever substance they are getting over.

Not only does exercise help to replace a substance, but it replaces it with something positive that will improve an individual’s overall health. It’s not uncommon for recovering addicts to develop strict and vigorous workout schedules shortly after they decide to get clean. The basic idea of trading one bad for one good is one of the best ways that exercise helps to overcome addiction.

Relieving Stress & Anxiety

One of the toughest hurdles to overcome on the road to sobriety is the extreme stress and overbearing feelings of anxiety that can arise. It’s one of the primary reasons why addicts return to a substance. Fortunately, exercise is one of the best ways to relieve stress and lower levels of anxiety.

When the body is exercised, it releases serotonin that naturally combats feelings of stress and anxiety. It helps your body improve physically as well, which can be a great confidence booster for those getting over an addiction. Finally, it takes your mind off any negative thoughts and allows you to become truly relaxed.

Making Friends

Exercise is a fantastic way to bring people together. It’s generally a group of individuals looking to get healthier, all with a common goal in mind. For this reason, it can be one of the best social settings for an addict to enter into.

It’s also quite common for fellow recovering addicts to get together for daily or weekly workouts. You can find support and motivation from others going through the same struggle. A workout group or partner will also help to push you during your exercises to make sure you’re getting the most out of yourself.

Improving Overall Outlook

Another great thing about exercise is that it can often time lead to a more positive outlook on life. As an individual, nothing is more important than health, and exercise is one of the most effective ways to improve this health.

The physical (and often mental) changes that you will see after just a short time of dedicated exercise is a fantastic way to improve your outlook on life. Want to lose weight? Cardio exercise will help. Looking to gain muscle? Weight training is the answer. Exercise will do wonders to boost your outlook and is a key reason why so many addicts enjoy working out.

Helping With Sleep Problems

When an addict begins the road to sobriety, they will often experience a dramatic and uncomfortable shift in their sleeping pattern. In some cases, they can find sleeping at all extremely difficult. By exercising, your body as a whole is becoming physically exhausted, which is a great way to sleep easier.

This ties into the stress relief as well. Working out will help to lower your stress, and in turn, allows you to get to bed without negative thoughts running through your mind. The most effective timing for workouts with regards to getting better sleep will be different for each individual. For some, a workout before bed is perfect. For others, it’s a tough exercise session as soon as the sun comes up. As you begin to exercise, the ideal times to help you get rest will become apparent.

There’s no doubt that working out is one of the best ways to help overcome an addiction. It can make so many aspects of the journey easier and gives individuals a positive goal to work towards. Give it a try and see for yourself just how much of a positive influence it can have on your road to recovery.