Addiction, also known as Substance use disorder, can have devastating effects on a person’s physical and mental health, and while seeking professional help through conventional psychotherapy is vital for a lasting recovery, incorporating fitness into a recovery plan can also have numerous benefits. At Horizon Rehab Center we have a fully equipped gym, swimming facilities (both hot and cold pools), and saunas to make this easy for you or your loved ones during their stay with us.
First and foremost, regular exercise can improve physical health by reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. A well-planned fitness program has also been shown to improve sleep, which tends to be disrupted in individuals with substance use disorders. It is often in early recovery when individuals notice problems with their sleep, mainly because NOT using their drug of choice is a different experience, and one the body and mind need to adjust to. A healthy exercise routine has been proven to aid this process of adjustment.
It is also not uncommon for addiction to take such a heavy toll on the physical body that injuries, such as broken bones, and dislocations are a result of risky behaviours during active addiction - not to mention the exacerbation of pre-existing injuries, for some. Horizon Rehab Center boasts a team of highly trained physical therapists and sports scientists that are there to help clients recover from their injuries in a clinical hospital setting.
In addition to physical benefits, regular exercise can also improve mental health by reducing stress, anxiety, and depression. Substance abuse can often be a coping mechanism for these mental health issues, and exercise can provide a healthy outlet for managing these emotions. Exercise has also been shown to increase self-esteem and confidence, an important part of the recovery process.
Another benefit of fitness in recovery is the sense of accomplishment and structure it can provide. Substance abuse can often lead to a loss of control in one's life, and engaging in a structured fitness routine can help individuals regain a sense of control and purpose. Therapeutically, exercise and fitness can provide ‘little wins’ for the individual, which can be built on over time and integrated into the client's overall recovery program. Exercise can also serve as a positive distraction from negative thoughts and cravings, so they can focus on the positive elements of recovery. Our physical therapist will have a sit-down consultation with you and tailor an individual fitness program specifically for you.
Incorporating fitness into a recovery plan can also provide a sense of community and support. Joining a group exercise class or working with a personal trainer can provide a supportive and encouraging environment, and can help individuals feel more ‘a part of’ - an essential part of the recovery process.