Interventions targeting physical activity may be valuable as an adjunct to alcohol treatment, but have been relatively untested. In the current study, alcohol dependent, physically sedentary patients were randomized to: a 12-week moderate-intensity, group aerobic exercise intervention (AE; n=25) or a brief advice to exercise intervention (BA-E; n=23). Results showed that individuals in AE reported significantly fewer drinking and heavy drinking days, relative to BA-E during treatment. Furthermore adherence to AE strengthened the beneficial effect of intervention on alcohol use outcomes. While high levels of moderate-intensity exercise appeared to facilitate alcohol recovery regardless of intervention arm, attending the group-based AE intervention seemed to further enhance the positive effects of exercise on alcohol use. Study findings indicate that a moderate intensity, group aerobic exercise intervention is an efficacious adjunct to alcohol treatment. Improving adherence to the intervention may enhance its beneficial effects on alcohol use.
Keywords: Adherence; Aerobic exercise; Alcohol; Alcohol dependence; Exercise; Intervention; Physical activity; Treatment.
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