Exercise & Diet For Those in Recovery

Physical exercise and eating a healthy diet is beneficial for everyone, however, for people who have gone through drug or alcohol rehab, it can help to continue treatment and stay sober. In fact, many treatment centers are beginning to utilize exercise as part of their programs.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, some researchers have found that exercise, such as sports, outdoor adventure, martial arts, dance, and more, not only help boost energy and regulate weight, but can also be helpful in preventing substance abuse.

Along with exercise, diet is important for living a healthy life and, for those who have gone through drug and alcohol rehabilitation, diet cat can also be a major factor in preventing relapse. Keeping a consistent diet that is rich in nutrients and high in protein and fiber can all help to promote a healthier lifestyle and keep sober-living individuals on the straight and narrow path.


While there is more research that needs to be done on how effective exercise is as a way to maintain abstinence from drugs and alcohol, there have been some studies that have shown its success. In one study published in the Public Library of Science, researchers found that chronic physical exercise led to increases in abstinence rates and was successful at easing anxiety symptoms associated with alcohol, nicotine, and illicit drug addiction.

“Overall, physical exercise can effectively assist abusers with withdrawing from addictive drugs,” the study said.

There are numerous health benefits that come from exercising, both physical and mental. Exercise has been proven to improve mental health and reduce anxiety, depression, and negative mood, many problems that people with substance use disorder suffer from.

There are many exercises that are popular among the sober living community including yoga and Tai Chi. Weight lifting and running is also types of physical exercise that many can benefit from.


Along with regular exercise, a balanced and nutrient-rich diet can help to improve mood and health. Improving these aspects of life can help to encourage healthy living and reduce the chances of relapse. However, when it comes to diet, most people don’t want to make dramatic lifestyle changes. But, this isn’t always necessary. For example, just by following a few simple guidelines, you can improve your overall health and positively influence your sobriety.

A few guidelines that the National Institutes of Health recommends include:

  • Stick consistent meal times
  • Eat foods low in fat
  • Get more protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates
  • Make sure to get enough vitamins and minerals.

There are a number of foods that you can begin to incorporate into your regular diet to make sure you are satisfying these recommendations. Some foods include fish, beans, plain greek yogurt, poultry, low-fat milk, kale, garlic, potatoes, blueberries, and more.

Overall, consistent physical exercise and maintaining healthy eating habits helps just about everyone. However, for those who have gone through drug or alcohol treatment in Philadelphia, it will not only improve physical and mental health but can also help to maintain sobriety and stay on the road to recovery.

About the Author

Matthew Boyle is the Chief Operating Officer of Landmark Recovery, a chain of drug and alcohol rehab facilities. He has been working in the healthcare space for 7 years with a new emphasis on recovery. Before his ventures into healthcare, Matthew graduated from Duke University in 2011 Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree. After Duke Matthew went on to work for the Boston Consulting Group before he realized his true passion lies within Recovery. His vision is to save a million lives in 100 years with a unique approach to recovery that creates a supportive environment through trust, treatment, and intervention.