Fitness In Recovery
Physical Fitness Program for Addiction Recovery
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At Nova Recovery Center, we approach addiction treatment as a whole-body experience, placing equal and balanced focus on the mental and spiritual side of recovery as well as the physical. Our ultimate goal during drug and alcohol rehab is to equip each client with the maximum amount of supportive tools and knowledge to achieve long-term recovery, and we believe exercise and physical fitness can do just that.
Fitness Program Outline
Nova’s onsite certified personal trainer has developed a fitness program that blends strength training exercises and cardio to provide a well-rounded fitness regimen for adults of all ages in our drug and alcohol rehab program. Our fitness program is tailored to adapt to the physical needs and goals of each individual client, so if you have an injury or a bad knee, we are happy to make accommodations by modifying your individual exercises.
Group training sessions meet five days a week for 45 minutes each day at our rehab center. While the majority of sessions are structured workouts focused on strength training and cardio, our personal trainer will also provide “free days” where you are invited to enjoy a game of basketball or volleyball instead.
All sessions are scheduled in the morning, with a women’s group from 7 a.m.-7:45 a.m. and two men’s groups from 8:30 a.m.-9:15 a.m. and 9:30 a.m.-10:15 a.m. You are required to attend one session each day (Monday through Friday). On the weekends, you are also welcome to use the volleyball and basketball courts for recreation.
Benefits of Fitness in Recovery
Fitness and exercise are huge components in recovery from addiction and there are many benefits to be gained from Nova’s fitness program.
- Regular exercise and physical fitness can help boost your mood.
Critical chemicals in the brain like dopamine, noradrenaline, and serotonin, are the same chemicals affected by most drugs of addiction. When you exercise, your body releases these chemicals, which trigger positive feelings.
- A healthy exercise or physical fitness regimen can also improve overall quality of life.
Regular exercise is a fantastic way to improve physical, mental, and emotional wellness. By participating in a regular fitness routine, you can improve your mood, weight, and sleep, which ultimately leads to a higher quality of life.
- Exercise promotes healing of the body.
Some studies have shown that exercise can spur the nervous system’s ability to heal itself, otherwise known as neuroplasticity. In theory, exercise re-grooves our memory pathways, which can often be battered by extensive substance abuse.
- You learn how to maintain your fitness with the tools that are available to you.
Not only will you learn how to use strength and conditioning equipment in the gym at our rehab center, but you’ll also learn how to adapt your fitness routine to work around available tools and environments in everyday life.
- Having a regular fitness routine encourages you to love yourself.
In alcohol and drug rehab, we are slowly gaining self-confidence and learning how to love ourselves from the inside out. Fitness is a huge part of self-care and by regularly making it a priority, you are learning how to love and care for yourself unconditionally.
A study published by Frontiers in Psychiatry found that aerobic exercise and drug abuse have an inverse relationship—people who exercise regularly are less likely to abuse drugs and vice versa. The study also found that exercise made those in recovery less likely to relapse. The study found this is a more significant finding for females than males; however, both sexes can reap the benefits of exercise in relapse prevention.
Those in recovery may have to start slowly when it comes to adding exercise to their daily routines. Spending 30 minutes to an hour per day can establish a healthy habit for those in recovery. Activities like walking, running, riding a bike, or weight lifting can help a person grow stronger and healthier, all while increasing the positive feelings that come from living a life free from drugs and alcohol.
Andrew Rector – Nova’s Certified Personal Trainer
Andrew is the onsite Certified Personal Trainer at Nova Recovery Center. As an individual in recovery himself, he has worked as a Resident Advisor at three different substance abuse treatment centers in Austin, Texas. Eventually, he decided to pursue the physical fitness aspect of recovery and spent some time working as a personal trainer for a behavioral health center in Austin before joining the Nova team in 2017. Andrew really enjoys being able to work with Nova clients five days a week and believes this generous amount of time allows him to better help clients achieve their goals, both in fitness and sobriety. In his free time, Andrew enjoys spending time with his girlfriend, going to local support group meetings, and participating in outdoor recreational activities in the Austin area.
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