Why MPR Med Exercise for Addiction Rehabilitation

It’s in the name – Movement Prioritizing Recovery. MPR is a lifestyle, designed with multiple components to positively affect your body and mind, one day at a time. Intentionally crafted in a progressive sequence, MPR is a marathon not a sprint toward your journey to physical and mental well-being. Mobile device based, Movement Prioritizing Recovery differentiates itself from other programs, creating an industry stand-alone developed by a Certified Medical Exercise Specialist with three foundational principles:



Easy access through your app and no confusion about “what to do next.” Sessions progress as you complete them, on your schedule. No random workouts or video libraries to choose  from. A progression of mobility, strength, flexibility, balance, as well as cognitive challenges that stimulate from head to toe. 



Exercise Science flows from Medical Science, providing the appropriate stimulus, recovery and adaptation that is physiologically necessary. Neurological skill development can increase at ANY  age. YOU progress and feel accomplished after every session while your body improves one day at a time. 



Coaching consistency, step-by-step with one expert, which eliminates any misunderstood cues and/or technique variations. Feedback is available post completion  of sessions. 

What are the unique components of Movement Prioritizing Recovery?



MPR Med Exercise Stackable Resistance Bands Package.


Progressive 15-minute Movement Sessions.


Weekly recovery strategies focused on Hydration, Healthy Weight Management, and Foot Health.


Cognitive challenges and dedicated stretching sessions to support joint mobility.


Barefoot training promoting sensory stimulation and enhancing overall foot strength.


Structured self-assessment process designed by MPR to help participants recognize their progress.

What do the experts say?

Researchers undertook a review of the existing literature involving physical activity and its relationship to substance use. They found that regular exercise was associated with lowered use in about 75% of the studies.

The review published in the journal PLOS ONE (Public Library of Science, 2023) looked at 43 studies with more than 3,000 total participants. In addition to a reduction or cessation in substance use, the studies also found improved markers of physical health and decreased depressive symptoms.

People think that during treatment people should only do psychotherapeutic treatments … but that’s not what we’ve seen in our study,” said lead study author Florence Piché, a doctoral student and researcher at Université de Montréal in Canada. “It’s very beneficial to do physical activity in addition to the treatments.”

“Physical activity has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression, which are major risk factors for substance use,” said Dr. Aaron Kandola, research fellow at Medical Research Council Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing at University College London.

“I think there’s now a sufficient amount of data to indicate that various forms of physical activity and exercise are generally effective at reducing substance use in individuals seeking treatment,” said Dr. Mark Smith, professor of psychology at Davidson College in North Carolina. Smith was not part of the research.

The research also showed physical activity to be linked with increased self-efficacy, self-esteem, and self-confidence, which are known to be protective against substance use, Smith added.

Why might a little sweat go such a long way? Exercise produces dramatic changes throughout the brain, Smith said.
When you exercise, you are engaging neural pathways that are also affected by substance use. There is a lot of evidence that exercise can help to normalize the changes that occur to those pathways when using substances, Smith added.


Physical Health Benefits

Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight and strengthen your bones and muscles. Exercise is particularly helpful because weight struggles are commonly connected with substance use recovery.

The physical health benefits of exercise extend beyond weight management. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), getting active can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, some types of cancers and other chronic diseases. Regular exercise can also increase the brain’s amount of new nerve connections, which helps the brain’s healing process from the harmful physiological effects of frequent substance use. 

Mental Health Benefits

In addition to physical health perks, regular exercise offers many psychological benefits. When you engage in physical activity, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with your brain’s receptors to decrease your perception of pain, much like morphine does. The natural activation of these receptors through exercise does not lead to addiction or dependence. This process can result in positive feelings of euphoria and optimism after each workout.

Forming good mental health habits is especially important for those in recovery because mental health disorders like depression and anxiety often co-occur with addiction. Exercise during recovery can be a key component in improving mental health and generating a more energized outlook on life. Other mental health benefits of exercise include sharper thinking, learning and judgment skills.

Recent Studies (National Institute of Health, Exercise treatment for drug abuse) have found that committing to a weekly exercise routine resulted in decreased substance use and even complete abstinence for some participants. 

Here are seven ways that regular exercise helps sobriety:

Exercise Curbs Cravings

In fact, research has shown that regular exercise can lead to an increase of abstinent days. Working out moves blood through the heart quicker, regular exercise can increase the amount of oxygen and nutrients flowing to your body’s muscles. This increase in nourishment causes the body to grow stronger and have a greater capacity to release energy throughout the day. These higher energy levels then make daily tasks easier and often boost the ability to resist the urge to use drugs.

Exercise Provides Structure and Routine

Part of what makes regular exercise so powerful for curbing cravings is following a set routine.

Exercise Fills Your Time and Thoughts

Many people find they have a lot of free time on their hands once they begin the recovery process because they are no longer spending their time thinking about, acquiring, or using a substance. This free time can prove to be a blessing or a curse depending on how it is used.

Exercise is a great outlet for this extra time and can take up several hours of the week. It is generally good to keep yourself busy during addiction recovery, especially in the beginning phases. Following a regular exercise routine takes away the need to make split decisions about what to do with spare time throughout the day, which is often when poor choices are made.

Exercise Relieves Stress

Reducing stress is essential for anyone recovering from substance use disorder because withdrawing from drugs or alcohol can heighten stress. Exercise directly affects the part of the brain that controls stress and anxiety. Both low-intensity and high-intensity forms of exercise are shown to reduce stress, help individuals become more aware of their mental state and grant mental relief.

Physical activity also allows people to focus on the movement of their body, rather than stressors, and stimulates hormones that reduce pain. Regular exercise helps balance the body’s stress hormone levels by managing adrenaline. Adrenaline is an important stress hormone for fight-or-flight responses, but too much of it can damage overall health.

Increasing the heart rate through exercise also triggers the release of serotonin, an anti-stress hormone that improves your sense of well-being. Exercising to alleviate stress is healthier for those who are recovering instead of turning to a substance, overeating, or lashing out at others. Different types of physical activity from the MPR program to meditation can result in increased levels of natural stress-relievers. 

Exercise Boosts Your Mood

Along with serotonin, exercise releases endorphins and dopamine, which play a large role in regulating mood. Mood swings are often a challenge for those going through the withdrawal or recovery process as the body readjusts to functioning without drugs or alcohol. Regular exercise can help even out these highs and lows by positively affecting your mood.

Exercise naturally triggers dopamine, a happiness hormone, which is why that post-workout euphoric feeling is often described as “runner’s high.” Instead of relying on a harmful substance, exercise is a great way to get a rush of happiness and energize your outlook on life. People also tend to feel better about themselves after handling stress well, as opposed to turning back to bad habits.

Exercise Improves Your Self-Image

Whether your goal is to lose weight or gain more muscle, exercise can help reinforce positive body-image and raise self-esteem. In general, taking good care of your body boosts self-confidence and makes you feel better about yourself.

Exercise Helps You Sleep

Sleep is an important component of recovery because, without the proper amount of rest, we’re unable to function at our highest level or make the best choices for ourselves. Fatigue is often a result of poor sleep quality, and it can lead to relapse. Although sound sleep is crucial for those who are recovering, people in the earlier phases of recovery tend to have difficulty sleeping through the night due to withdrawal.

Regular exercise can help you overcome sleeplessness by stimulating the recuperative processes that rebuild strength and restore health during sleep. Source: Gateway Foundation.

For more information please contact  wendy@mprmedexercise.com


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