3 Physical Disciplines for Those Recovering from Alcoholism

During treatment and recovery from alcoholism, physical activity is often advisable as a part of a complex wellness regime. The benefits of adding exercise and physical discipline are many, and positively impact both the body and mind. Choosing the right discipline to complement recovery efforts can be challenging due to the sheer number of choices currently available, but the following three options are highly recommended for a wide variety of individuals suffering from alcoholism.

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One of the tried and tested tools of many addiction treatment programs, yoga has numerous benefits for practitioners, including reduced blood-pressure, decreased stress levels, greater range of movement and flexibility, as well as a calmer and more positive outlook on the future. This is an especially good discipline for those who are new to fitness or those who are experiencing the physical consequences of long-term alcoholism, including withdrawal symptoms, and desire to repair their physical health. Yoga can help with bodily awareness and mindfulness practices as well. The mental benefits are numerous as well, including increased calm and focus, which can assist with good decision-making and commitment to treatment and recovery. Many varieties of yoga exist with something for everyone, from hot yoga to traditional yoga.

Tai Chi

This martial arts discipline originated in Ancient China and has been touted for many years for its ability to strengthen balance, reduce stress, as well as to improve coordination and focus. Tai Chi is often recommended for seniors and for those in need of physical rehabilitation, especially following head injury or stroke. Because of its recuperative effects and relatively low level of intensity, it is also a good choice for those recovering from alcoholism. Performing Tai Chi outdoors has become popular in recent years – the practice also involves a deeper connection with the natural world. Unlike more competitive forms of martial arts, Tai Chi is generally practiced for its health and psychological benefits, especially for those who may be injured in the course of more contact-oriented styles like karate or judo.


Slightly faster paced than soft-style martial arts, fencing has long been known for its mental benefits and aerobic components. For alcoholics who are in the recovery process, fencing is a great way to gain focus, clarity of thought, self-control, and hand-eye coordination, in addition to building up cardiovascular endurance. Taking a class and eventually joining a fencing club are great ways to get started in the discipline. Beginners are often welcome in both places. For those who may have issues with anger, it may be wise to evaluate your potential for lashing out prior to starting a fencing class. Otherwise, the sport is generally considered safe, enjoyable, and rewarding for those willing to commit to practice. Different styles are available as well with many younger fencers enjoying the saber instead of the traditional foil.

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If you are considering treatment for alcoholism or seeking different strategies to help your recovery process, you can find out more information about these and other topics by calling our hotline at 800-890-3586. Our helpline experts can help you make important decisions during this difficult time.

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