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Fitness in Recovery: When Exercise Becomes an Integral Part of the Journey


Fitness in Recovery: When Exercise Becomes an Integral Part of the Journey

For some of us, exercise is the most important part of the day. A good workout can seem to fix just about anything, from an infuriating day at work to an awkward first date or even just a simple case of the blues. For others, the mere thought of pulling on a pair of running shoes or doing a set of squats can be dispiriting.

No matter how you feel about it, however, the science is there: moving your body is integral to the healing process—both for your body and your mind.

Addiction also affects us physically as well as mentally, and true recovery must include treatment that addresses both areas. In other words, integrating fitness into a recovery program can go a long way toward building a foundation for lasting wellness and sobriety.

Both the physical and mental effects of movement also help reduce addiction cravings—and increase your ability to resist them.

The Healing Benefits of Exercise and Movement

It’s no secret that exercise can do a lot to improve our physical wellbeing. In addition to helping to regulate weight, exercise allows your body to grow more resilient by boosting immunities and increasing your physical strength. Exercise during the day can also help you get better sleep at night, and a regular routine may even help prevent certain cancers.

But just because exercise is physical doesn’t mean its benefits are limited to the somatic. Moving your body can also have a big impact on your mental wellbeing. Studies have shown time and again that physical activity can improve brain health in a number of ways for folks of every walk of life.

Just a few of the potential benefits include:

  • Improved quality of life due to your body being healthier as well as feeling physically fit
  • Greater clarity and focus, thanks to a wide range of cognitive benefits, including improved executive function, processing speed, memory, and attention span
  • Reduced risk of dementia, including Alzheimer’s
  • Improved mood, including both the short-term alleviation of anxiety as well as a longer-term reduction in anxious and depressive symptoms
  • Increased confidence as reaching personal milestones builds a sense of empowerment and inner strength alongside muscular strength
  • Improved resilience and ability to cope with stress

All of these transformative benefits make physical activity a potentially life-changing boon for someone recovering from addiction. A clearer head and a stronger body help you stay on track and move forward with the healing process while improved mood, confidence, and an overall greater sense of wellbeing contribute to your continued motivation to build a healthier, happier future for yourself. Moreover, both the physical and mental effects of movement also help reduce addiction cravings—and increase your ability to resist them.

However, how you exercise matters just as much as whether or not you move your body at all.

Integrating Fitness in Recovery Programming Effectively

The inclusion of physical fitness in recovery involves a bit of a balancing act to be truly successful. Pushing too hard, especially early on, can result in injury and a loss of motivation, whereas not pushing hard enough can lessen the positive impact you’re looking to harness. And, of course, doing the same easy routine over and over again can get boring fast.

This is where expert guidance can be a powerful asset in integrating fitness into your recovery plan. While the internet has made it easier than ever to work out from home, working with clinicians and trainers who specialize in addiction recovery can exponentially improve outcomes. Together with their help, you can fortify addiction recovery with exercise and develop a routine that addresses both your current needs and future goals for recovery. And you can continually adapt that routine as your needs and goals naturally evolve over time.

The right treatment plan will be one that allows you to physically push yourself in healthy, even fun ways without asking too much or too little. If you’re already a fitness fan, fantastic—you may be able to incorporate the exercises you enjoy into your recovery journey and perhaps even discover some new ones along the way. If you’re not convinced you’ll enjoy exercising yet, that’s okay too—even low-intensity movement such as going for a walk or a gentle yoga routine can be greatly beneficial.

Wherever you are now and whatever your goals may be, the right treatment center will be able to meet you where you’re at and help you build a sustainable path to recovery one day—and one step—at a time.

A Unique Approach to Holistic Recovery

At New Choices Treatment Centers, we believe in a comprehensive approach to addiction recovery that heals the body as well as the mind. Movement plays a fundamental role in our innovative Active Recovery Coaching Program, which interweaves physical activity with mental and social therapies to provide a strong yet flexible framework in which our clients can heal and grow. These therapies include:

  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Positive Psychology
  • Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

We also understand that every body is different, and everybody has their own unique needs to address. As such, we offer highly personal programming that can adapt to meet you at your current fitness level, whatever that may look like. Our clinicians will then work closely with you to build on your abilities and move forward at your own pace. Our treatment centers offer a safe, nonjudgmental space in which to reclaim your inner strength and build resiliency alongside other individuals working through similar challenges toward the same goal—lasting recovery.

New Choices Treatment Centers offer leading-edge addiction treatment plans that recognize fitness as well as nutrition as vital physical components of recovery. Contact us any time to learn more, or call us at (726) 888-7003.