Sober Living & the Significance of Exercise in Recovery

Sober Living & the Significance of Exercise in Recovery | Transcend Recovery Community

Traditionally, recovery has been focused on getting sober, and it should be! However, in recent years, the journey towards sober living has begun to include additional treatment methods and take on a holistic approach. Recovery has begun to tend to a recovering addict’s other areas of life such as emotional, spiritual, and physical. In addiction to detoxification, recovery might also include ways to reduce stress, improve well being, and find a sense of personal balance.

In fact, the word recovery comes from a late Middle English word denoting restoration; it means to get back or return. A person in recovery likely wants to return to a state of well being where there is no longer an addiction, and more importantly, where there are no longer the circumstances that led to the addiction in the first place.

As a way to provide restorative and healing environments, more and more sober living homes and treatment facilities are offering holistic services. According to The Free Dictionary holistic care is: “a system of comprehensive or total patient care that considers the physical, emotional, social, economic, and spiritual needs of the person; his or her response to illness; and the effect of the illness on the ability to meet self-care needs.”

In order to address all the aspects of an adolescent’s recovery process – physical, physiological, emotional, psychological, and spiritual – a holistic drug treatment center might include much more than drug counseling, therapy, family therapy, support groups, life skill groups, and other sober living approaches. To address various aspects of growth towards sobriety, a holistic drug rehab center might also include:

  • Massage
  • Yoga
  • Acupuncture
  • Nutrition Counseling
  • Reiki
  • Equine Therapy
  • Sweat Lodges
  • Adventure Therapy
  • Organic Food Choices
  • Sauna Use
  • Spiritual Exploration and Study
  • Physical Exercise


The last point has become particularly important in recovery and it’s affect on overall mental health. Physical activity can release endorphins, which alone help to boost positive feelings. Exercise can also help with the health of the brain, including making new neural connections, which alone can facilitate enduring change. Furthermore, to experience these benefits from exercise, you don’t have to run three miles a day; simply taking a walk regularly can boost mental health. However, if you’re up for a greater challenge, and you want to show your support for others in recovery, then consider walking or running the New York Heroes 6K. This August, the opportunity to run a 6K marathon beckons you. For anyone interested in supporting the recovery community nationwide and who wants to implement more exercise in their life, this event is meant to bring the community together to:

  • Break the stigma of mental illness and addiction.
  • Celebrate the heroes and heroines of recovery.
  • Raise money for Xcel University, an educational organization for children and adults, advocating higher education, mental health awareness, and quality mental health services for everyone.

The run begins at New York City’s Riverside Park at 103rd Street Promenade and takes runners throughout the city. Registration begins at 7:30am and the race starts at 8:30! And you can expect prizes, awards, and post-race nutrition to rejuvenate your body.

And if you can’t make it to the race, consider including exercise, yoga, and meditation in your recovery process. It may just bring you closer to long-term sober living.


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