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How CrossFit Can Aid in Addiction Recovery


How CrossFit Can Aid in Addiction Recovery

For those who have experienced the destruction that substance abuse and addiction can bring to one’s life, getting into shape is a far-cry from what feels possible. It would just be nice to go through the day feeling like you’re the one in control, not your addiction. But getting fit and in shape? You’ve already crossed that off your list of priorities. And if you hate exercise, you know it’s going to feel like an uphill battle. The fact is, your brain is not buying what you’re trying to sell on a regular basis, so exercise is definitely not going to make the cut, especially when looking at drug addiction recovery services and activities.


So it may surprise you to learn that the strenuous physical movement and intense exercise of training modalities like CrossFit are your partners on the path to recovery. In fact, right here in San Antonio, Texas, recovery centers like New Choices are working with trainers and active recovery coaches to harness the science-backed benefits of CrossFit to aid in addiction recovery.  

When you first look at a crossfit affiliate map, it is easy to see why so many people talk about this program. It is available in so many places and crossfit addict services and crossfit recovery services have proven to be very effective for many people.  Working with the local Laredo crossfit program can help you better manage your recovery process. They can also answer your questions such as,what can I do to help myself with recovery, what do you call a gym addict, and are there any crossfit drug recovery programs in my area?

What is CrossFit?

You may have experienced this cycle before — or at least heard of it from other gym rats on social media or even from friends and family members. 

You start working out, you begin to feel good about yourself. You feel good about yourself, so you go back. You go back and you get those endorphins flowing. You eat better, you sleep deeper, and you feel clearer. You start making better choices about your lifestyle because, let’s face it, you’re not putting all that time and effort into physical exercise just to undo it all, right? Suddenly, it’s four weeks later and your life has changed completely.  

What can start with a simple look at a crossfit affiliate map can quickly lead to a program that can forever change your life. With crossfit addict services and crossfit recovery focuses you can get the help you are looking for. They can help you understand white knuckle sober meaning, white knuckle meaning alcohol recovery, and how to best use physical activity to aid your recovery.

CrossFit provides all these benefits — increased by about a factor of a thousand. 

Like the name suggests, CrossFit combines several modalities for a completely customized workout (hey, we like that here at New Choices. We’re all about cross-disciplinary treatment). It incorporates strengths from quite a few different forms of exercise, including:

  • Gymnastics
  • Calisthenics
  • Weightlifting
  • Body-building
  • Rowing
  • Running
  • Biking
  • High Intensity Interval Training

Crossfit enthusiasts Laredo TX, and others around the country can help recovering addicts focus on one thing: meaningful recovery and a healthy, active answer to the question, “how is your recovery going?” With the new approach of using the gym for recovering addicts, this unique cry for help rehabilitation and recovery offers new dimensions of sober living. They take the entire body into account from the brain to the cardiovascular system and take care of the mind and body as someone detoxes from banned substances. They provide new dimensions in recovery and can help people overcome the symptoms of both wet and dry drunk addictions and help them stay sober

The beauty of CrossFit is that you get the best of multiple modes of exercise shaved down into one 45-minute to an hour-long session. Of course, you can push it way beyond this limit — as the relationship between exercise and addiction recovery is a positive one.   Utilizing crossfit recovery and signing up with a Phoenix Arizona or Laredo crossfit program can help improve recovery. Going from one session to another can help recovering addicts take the steps needed for recovery. 

The idea behind CrossFit is that it’s a constant challenge for your body. When you’re incorporating so many different disciplines, varying weights at each session, and operating at fairly high intensity, your body (and mind) doesn’t have a chance to plateau or get bored. 

You also see dramatic results — whether that’s weight loss or muscle gain you’re after. 

You should know, though, that, depending on the intensity of their workouts, their diet, and how structured they are with their workouts, “CrossFitters” build lean muscle mass and functional strength instead of only shaving down pounds or bulking up on muscle growth.

Why CrossFit, Addiction, and Recovery are a Natural Fit

There are real stories of ex-offenders, troubled youth, adults who have experienced trauma, and those going through substance abuse and addiction that have found solace, challenge, and community through CrossFit.  Specialized crossfit drugs and alcohol recovery programs and programs designed for individual goals and needs make recovery easier. Answering the question of-, how is your recovery going- becomes easier. Using the gym for recovering addicts allows them to have a cry for help rehabilitation, and all new dimensions of sober living.

But before we take a look at those stories, consider this. 

In a study of patients participating in a substance abuse program, 95% of individuals wanted to engage in an exercise program specifically customized for persons in recovery and 89% felt confident enough to want this in the first 3 months of sobriety.

Additionally, the data found that participants had a variety of preferences for using crossfit throughout their recovery journey:

  • 74.5% of participants preferred experiencing a different exercise program each session
  • 62.8% mentioned they would like it to be self-paced
  • 66.7% of participants would rather complete one long bout of exercise (30-60 minutes)
  • An overwhelming 70.5% of participants, both male and female, want to incorporate strength and resistance training into their routines

These results prove that exercise, in general, is “good” but customized, strength or resistance-training physical activity is even more desirable for those in addiction recovery.

“[Blending a recovery program with the CrossFit methodology of fitness and nutrition] is a way of integrating the treatment aspect of dealing with addiction and mental illness…The essence of integration is that it combines multiple disciplines: physical, emotional, and spiritual, which includes nutrition. The integrated aspect is all those dimensions.” — Ron Gellis, recovering alcoholic and psychologist (The CrossFit Journal)

The best part is that participants recognize the importance of a structured physical regime for their recovery but they also felt the need to keep things varied, interesting, and engaging. 

CrossFit, clearly, checks all these boxes — and then some. Those who are crossfit athletes as well as those seeking help with drugs or alcohol recovery or who have been sent by alcoholics anonymous or another similar group can all use workouts and exercise to improve their lives.

Those who are recovering addicts or those struggling with exercise addiction can use crossfit as a safe and fun drug free sport. With activity levels for all skills and abilities, you can enjoy yoga, foam rolling, and more intense workouts as well. You don’t have to go about it with intense white knuckling sobriety active recovery. Find the workout routine that is right for you.

Metabolic Conditioning Gives the Best Bang for your Buck in Recovery

What is metabolic conditioning? It’s just a structured pattern of work and rest that helps the body recover (but not too much), so it can, over time, maximize efficiency. 

Translation: your first sessions may feel like a struggle but you’ll scale up much faster. For those in recovery, the customizability, clear results, and structure are the greatest payoffs.

Now, CrossFit exercises are timed, but it’s not for competition. It’s to understand where your personal best is — and then push the envelope when and how you can, by adding reps, weights, another component to a complex circuit, or simply cutting down on time. 

A challenging circuit for one person could include kettlebells, rope slams, medicine ball work, and pull-up bars. For another, it could include rowing, the assault bike, barbell work, and handstand push-ups. Switching up between these intervals is much more powerful than routine strength training alone.

As reported in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research:

“Interval training yields specific, positive physiological adaptations in the neuromusculature.”

In other words, your brain communicates with your body’s energy system more efficiently, allowing you to get stronger faster. No matter what pace you go at, when you customize a CrossFit circuit or session to your personal preferences, it will trigger metabolic conditioning.

However, the greatest benefits for addicts in recovery are not primarily the physical gains. Rather, it’s the mental and social components of CrossFit that transfers so beautifully to the addiction recovery journey and aids in the admissions and process of getting started.

4 Ways CrossFit Can Benefit the Recovering Addict

With the prevalence of the opioid epidemic and alcohol abuse increasing by 87% annually, it’s a good bet that many CrossFit enthusiasts are people in recovery and sobriety.  A crossfit affiliate map like this one makes it easier to see how crossfit addict recovery programs have become so widespread. Specifically, crossfit Laredo TX gyms for recovering addicts can offer new dimensions to sober living. You will be able to answer the question of how your recovery is going with confidence for a change!

1) When it Comes to CrossFit, Community is Key

When you walk into a “box,” which is a barebones CrossFit gym, it’s unlike any other fitness experience. Over and over again, the community aspect of CrossFit, reports The Philly Voice, is the key component to its success for those in addiction recovery. 

A large part of addiction recovery is about building a resilient community of connections you can rely on to help you in moments where you need support. Yes, loneliness and isolation are some of the most common reasons why people in recovery aren’t able to maintain their sobriety long-term.

The sense that you can white-knuckle your recovery, go it alone, or that you’re somehow “different,” so you don’t need to do the work are all insidious ways that the recovering brain tricks you into remaining stuck.

CrossFit completely changes all that. If even those not in recovery return to feeling connected and motivated by their peers, assets The Chicago Tribune. CrossFit participants become a constant group of like-minded friends they can count on, so then imagine what that can do for someone in recovery who needs community in an even more profound way.

2) CrossFit is All About Goal Setting

When you’re in recovery, it’s important to go at your own pace. Just like your work with counselors and therapists, Crossfit is a completely customized way to connect with your body and expand that connection to your mind. 

As you master shorter bursts of activity or smaller weights and reps, you’ll be able to scale up. What’s more, watching your core group progress in their own goals gives you cause for celebration while also letting you know what’s possible for you. 

One of our own clients, Griffin, confirms that a sense of progress and personal development is part of what makes CrossFit so rewarding for him as he works with detox centers and other recovery programs.

3) CrossFit Can Balance Brain Chemistry

The link between CrossFit, specifically, and addiction recovery is still an emerging one. But the field of research around physical exercise and addiction, especially when it comes to brain chemistry, is thankfully not.

In fact, studies prove that exercise can help stabilize moods and balance out brain chemistry. What’s even more subtle and interesting is that the hormones and neurotransmitters your body is flooded with after an intense CrossFit WOD (short for “workout of the day”) actually mimics the effects drugs have on your brain. 

So, all of the good times without any of the adverse effects. Sounds too good to be true? Well, it’s not. 

Researchers from the Beckman Institute of Advanced Science and Technology found that your brain is literally “sensitive” to your body’s energy, fitness, and composition. Tweak one component and you can produce an effect in the other.

In 290 individuals, researchers found that those who had a lower percentage of body fat and a higher incidence of aerobic fitness had brains that produced more NAA, or N-acetyl aspartic acid (NAA). 

NAA is a biochemical marker of energy production, and researchers concluded that, “Fitter adults benefit from improved structural brain connectivity.”

4) CrossFit Harnesses Gamification (Thanks to Your Brain)

There’s good gamification and there’s the dark side of gamification. The dark side is Facebook developers trying to steal your brain’s attention units by relying on common psychological and behavioral tricks. 

Gamification is “human-focused design.” Luckily, CrossFit relies on good gamification, which is based on eight core drivers of:

  • Development and accomplishment
  • Meaning
  • Empowerment
  • Social pressure
  • Unpredictability
  • Loss and avoidance
  • Impatience
  • Ownership 

Improve Recovery Odds With Intensity Workout Programs and the New Choices AIR Program

While CrossFit methodology is a significant part of what we at New Choices Treamtent Centers call“Active In Recovery,” you don’t have to choose that particular form of fitness and exercise. Plenty of individuals in recovery say they achieve the same kind of benefits from other types of physical engagement, such as yoga. CrossFit simply incorporates the three most important aspects of recovery: community, structure, and accountability. 

You have taken the first step and considered the crossfit affiliate map to see what crossfit addict recovery locations are in your area. You are committed to recovery and are looking for long term help in recovery from performance enhancing drugs, alcohol, and other substances. Now it is time to take action and see how intensity exercise and workout programs can aid in your recovery.

At New Choices Treatment Centers, we believe in taking a holistic, mind-body-spirit connection to healing and recovery. Because addiction affects every part of an individual’s life, the road to recovery also needs to similarly renew each aspect of that person’s relationship with themselves and others. Learn more about our Active Recovery Coaches and individualized programming at New Choices Treatment Centers.

If you are wondering whether Active Recovery is a good choice for you, the addiction specialists at New Choices Treatment Centers are here to help. Contact us with your questions or call (726) 888-7003 to speak to our admissions staff to get started on your recovery journey.