Some researchers have stressed the importance of helping individuals in early recovery to develop “positive addictions” such as increased physical activity and/or meditation. And even though lifestyle modification is one of the main components of Marlatt’s relapse prevention model, this element has received the least attention in substance abuse treatment programs. Nevertheless, engaging in regular exercise provides a number of potential benefits including allowing individuals to experience positive mood states without the use of drugs; helping to reduce depressive symptoms which have been tied to risk of relapse; improving sleep and cognitive functioning (each of which have been identified as being disrupted in early recovery and predictive of relapse); and increasing self-efficacy while decreasing stress-reactivity.
The following presentation describes the results of a single subject design research project undertaken by the Site Administrator investigating the impact of aerobic exercise on perceived stress. It was recorded by the Site Administrator in March 2014 in partial fulfillment of the Masters of Science in Social Work degree at the University of Louisville.