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Individuals recovering from substance use disorder (SUD) often have physical health issues and side effects caused by chronic substance abuse. According to The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, “Exercise’s broad positive health, mood-enhancing, and anxiolytic effects; capacity to reduce the acute distress of withdrawal; and nearly universal safety profile when properly adapted for the individual make it an appealing adjunctive intervention to help attain abstinence and prevent relapse among individuals with SUDs.” West Coast Recovery Centers encourages clients to engage in physical activity during recovery to improve physical health. 

How to Improve Physical Health During Treatment for Substance Abuse

Improving overall health and physical wellness during treatment for substance abuse reduces the risk of relapse. Physical health changes how people think, heal, and approach their recovery. Individuals with co-occurring mental health disorders also benefit from exercising during treatment. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “Research suggests that exercise and physical activity can help to improve symptoms of anxiety and depression.” West Coast Recovery Centers helps people develop healthy routines for improving physical activity during treatment for SUD. 

4 Ways to Improve Physical Health

People improve their physical health by eating balanced meals, getting quality sleep each night, and staying active. Many individuals in treatment must replace maladaptive behaviors, including substance abuse, with positive alternatives. Physical activity is an excellent replacement for many unhealthy behaviors and routines. Below are four ways people can improve their physical health. 

#1. Start an Exercise Routine

Routines are essential in recovery. Individuals diagnosed with SUD have muscle memory related to substance abuse, intrusive thoughts, cravings, and other factors influencing their behaviors and routines. Clients must take steps to make new habits and routines to support a sober future. Starting an exercise routine can reduce some of the symptoms of SUD and improve overall health.

A few ways people start exercise routines during treatment and aftercare include: 

  • Engaging in specific activities like yoga, biking, walking, swimming, or other forms of exercise
  • Getting an exercise coach 
  • Setting aside a particular amount of time each day to exercise 

Everyone has different health goals. Once people identify those goals, they can work with their care team to develop a plan for achieving them. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Start slowly and work your way up to more time or more challenging activities.” Sustainability and consistency are important factors when developing an exercise schedule. West Coast Recovery Centers give clients the tools and resources to create and maintain healthy habits and routines. 

#2. Develop New Habits to Improve Physical Health

Physical hobbies like running, biking, hiking, swimming, gardening, or yoga allow people to do activities they enjoy while improving their health. West Coast Recovery Centers provides clients with the tools they need to pursue their passions and incorporate hobbies into their regular routines. Everyone has different interests. The care team guides clients through determining what hobbies may bring them joy and improve their overall health. Physical hobbies can improve overall health while providing people with a creative outlet. 

#3. Create a Sleep Schedule

Quality sleep is essential to physical and mental wellness. According to Medical Clinics of North America:

Patient complaints related to sleep most often consist of difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, or impaired daytime functioning [. . .] The common sleep-related disorders evaluated in the context of substance use include the following:

  1. insomnia,
  2. circadian rhythm disorder-delayed sleep phase type, and
  3. sleep-related breathing disorder (SRBD).

Creating a night schedule is the best way to manage sleep disturbances experienced during treatment and aftercare. Treatment programs help people develop sleep schedules by creating structured daily routines. Clients have set times when they need to participate in treatment, allowing them to plan when to prepare for bed and wake up each day. Some people also benefit from using sleep apps to help them relax before bed. The care team helps clients create a bedtime routine to ensure they get better quality sleep each night. 

#4. Be Mindful of Physical Limitations

Becoming healthier involves making significant lifestyle changes. People in recovery should be mindful of their physical and mental limitations by setting realistic and achievable health goals. 

Some common physical limitations people may experience during early recovery include: 

  • Difficulty staying focused 
  • Lack of motivation 
  • Lingering symptoms of withdrawal or co-occurring disorders 

A person’s health is impacted by their ability to set limits on their daily activities. 

Improve Physical Health at West Coast Recovery Centers

West Coast Recovery Centers encourages clients to improve their physical health by staying active and practicing self-care. Clients with co-occurring medical issues collaborate with the care team to develop low-stress activities to improve overall health and wellness.

Individuals in treatment have access to the following: 

  • Leisure activities 
  • Exercise rooms 
  • Outdoor activities 

Many clients incorporate exercises into their treatment plan as a holistic way to manage stress or symptoms related to SUD. 

A whole-person approach to treatment allows clients to improve their physical health while recovering from substance abuse. The care team understands the importance of helping clients develop healthy physical exercises and routines. Physical health has a direct impact on emotional stability and cognition. West Coast Recovery Centers encourages clients to eat balanced meals, sleep well, and stay active during treatment and continuing care. The care team helps clients develop positive routines and identify areas to improve their health. Treatment plans are tailored to the unique needs of each client. Some people benefit from adding exercise to their treatment plan. To learn more about our programs and services, call us today at (760) 492-6509.

West Coast Recovery Centers ( 370135CP), Valid through July 31, 2025
Jackson House Visalia (540056AP), Valid through May 15, 2025
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