This systematic review examined recovery in the physical activity (PA) research literature and its conceptualization as an overarching healing process for adults experiencing substance use disorders (SUD). We identified the ways in which recovery had or had not been previously defined in the research, while exploring the effects of different types of PA on recovery from SUD, as well as the effects of PA on different types of substance use, coded for and measured in terms of the Recovery Science Research Collaborative’s (RSRC) definition of recovery. Utilizing the RSRC definition of recovery, we examined PA as a solitary approach to recovery from SUD through a socio-ecological lens by applying the socio-ecological model (SEM). This was the first study of its kind to examine PA with recovery as the holistic outcome measure in the research. Results provide directions for research needed to further evaluate the potential efficacy of different types of PA as an approach to the process of recovery, as well as to guide new policies. The study identified sources of recovery capital, disparities, barriers, as well as motivators to engaging in PA, therefore providing insights into what is needed in order to increase access to and feasibility of PA for a greater number of individuals who are in recovery, thus adding to the body of knowledge about supports for recovery from an SUD.