The Benefits of Exercise in Addiction Recovery


A 2018 study at Harvard University Medical School revealed that exercise has a significant impact in treating substance use disorders for alcohol and opioids. Out of 20 participants who completed the program, ten of the participants abstained completely from their substance of choice, while another five said they had decreased their substance abuse. It is clear that exercise has a positive effect on a patient’s addiction recovery. Yoga and meditation are examples of excellent mental and physical activities that are very beneficial in helping patients recover from addiction.

At Hammocks on the Edisto, our women’s wellness program near Charleston, South Carolina, includes yoga and meditation as part of our holistic approach to helping women struggling with addiction and mental health issues. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction and ready to make a real change, call 833.793.0191 today to speak with our caring staff about the benefits of exercise in recovery.

The Importance of Exercise Therapy

Exercise is a great way to improve your physical and mental health. Dr. Jeff Edwards at Brigham Young University has shown that increased blood flow caused by exercise literally feeds the brain; the increased blood flow delivers essential nutrients that help it function in myriad ways. One of these ways is that it helps improve memory by increasing molecular targets, such as the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which increases synaptogenesis, forming new synapses that affect memory and learning. Exercise can also help reduce stress by decreasing the number of stress receptors, thereby minimizing the effects of stress hormones on the brain.

When in addiction treatment, improved mental and physical health is a huge advantage. Yoga and meditation are excellent forms of exercise in recovery and have many benefits, including:

  • Improved mood
  • Stress reduction
  • Better sleep
  • Stronger immune system
  • Self-reflection and increased self-awareness
  • Heightened self-confidence and improved self-image
  • Emotional healing
  • Increased energy
  • Reduced risk of relapse

The Benefits of Yoga and Meditation in Recovery

Yoga has proven to be a very beneficial exercise in recovery. Tens of millions of Americans regularly practice yoga, and the popularity of the practice continues to increase steadily. Yoga is a low-impact exercise that combines breathing techniques with different poses that will strengthen muscles and keep the practitioner limber. As part of a women’s wellness program like the one at Hammocks on the Edisto, yoga can help reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings while providing a way to cope with triggers and daily stress.

Meditation is similar to yoga in that it uses breathing techniques to center the mind and allow for deep contemplation. Research has shown that nondirective meditation yields more marked changes in brain wave activity associated with wakeful, relaxed attention. Theta wave activity increases in the front and middle section of the brain, indicating deep relaxation. And alpha waves show more activity in the posterior of the brain, indicating a state of wakeful rest.

In addition to offering a range of mindfulness-based, patient-centered treatment modalities that includes meditation, the staff at Hammocks on the Edisto offers six styles of yoga, which patients perform with a certified yoga instructor on our dock along the beautiful Edisto River.

Let Hammocks on the Edisto Help Your Addiction Recovery with Our Women’s Wellness Program

Hammocks on the Edisto’s women-only addiction recovery center near Charleston, South Carolina, can help with your addiction recovery. This is in part because of our women’s wellness program that includes yoga and meditation as part of your treatment. Our experienced staff will evaluate your condition and formulate an individualized treatment plan to treat your addiction and any underlying mental health issues that may be fueling your addiction. Our therapy programs include:

  • Exercise therapy
  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy

If you or a loved one is ready for help with addiction recovery, call 833.793.0191 today to speak with our friendly staff to learn about the benefits of exercise in recovery.


  1. Can Exercise Help Conquer Addiction?” – Harvard University Medical School
  2. How Exercise Affects Your Brain” – BYU College of Life Sciences
  3. Number of People Doing Yoga in the United States from 2008 to 2018” – Statista
  4. Brain Waves and Meditation” – Science Daily

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