Addiction treatment evolves over time. While standard talk therapies still play a pivotal role, experts now recognize the benefits of treating the whole person. Therefore, that means addressing not only mental and emotional health, but also physical and spiritual health. One of the ways they go about this is with fitness therapy.
How It Works
Since everyone enters rehab in a different place physically, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to fitness therapy. For example, you go through a process that usually looks something like this:
- Goal setting
- Review and revise goals and plans
In fact, the assessment is typically a physical. Depending on the program, this can include some time on a treadmill. The physical ensures that you’re healthy enough for a fitness program and establishes some physical baselines.
Moreover, the goal setting depends on where you are on a fitness level. If you’re severely overweight, weight loss is the likeliest goal. On the other hand, if your basic fitness is okay, conditioning might be the main goal.
A doctor will help you lay out an exercise plan with the goal or goals you lay out. In most cases, trainers will supervise the actual exercise. In addition, this helps you avoid injury. The trainer can also provide some feedback for the doctor when reviewing and revising the plan.
When the word fitness comes up, most people think of a gym with equipment. However, that is one approach, but not the only one. For example, other options include:
- Sports like basketball or soccer
In fact, yoga therapy works so well it often stands on its own as a fitness therapy approach.
If jogging, swimming, and yoga don’t do it for you, consider physical activities you do enjoy. Even if you can’t do them during rehab, nothing stops you from taking up rollerblading, gardening, or frisbee when you head home.
Getting you into world class shape isn’t the goal of these kinds of programs. In fact, like any addiction therapy, exercise provides key benefits that support your overall recovery efforts.
Fitness Therapy Benefits
Most drugs interact with receptors in your nervous system and brain. Your body becomes dependent on them, which is part of what drives withdrawal. However, exercise produces endorphins that interact with many of the same receptors. They partially replace the drugs and can reduce cravings.
Of course, the health consequences of drug and alcohol abuse are well known. Alcohol abuse often causes a weight gain, for example. As a general rule, those abusing drugs exercise rarely or not at all. That means they enter rehab in poor or even very bad shape.
Getting back into shape helps build self-esteem, supports overall wellness, and provides a coping mechanism.
If you develop an exercise routine and carry it over into your daily life, you’ll see long-term benefits. Specifically, regular exercise supports healthy sleep. Good sleep speeds up healing and supports your mood. Moreover, it also lowers your risk for serious conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
One of the most important benefits of regular exercise is that it relieves stress; a major trigger for substance abuse.
The Bigger Picture
Fitness programs, like any holistic therapy approach, work best in context with traditional therapy approaches. In addition to the exercise, a few common therapies include:
Fitness Therapy At Crest View Recovery Center
Crest View Recovery Center embraces an overall wellness approach. Treating the mind alone isn’t enough. That is why we support holistic therapies like fitness, massage, and art therapy. Furthermore, CVRC makes its home in the North Carolina mountains.
If you’re struggling with addiction, don’t take it on alone. In fact, a quality rehab program can help you take your life back. Reach out to CVRC at 866.327.2505 and start your road to recovery.