Fitness Therapy Addiction Treatment

Many people believe rehabilitation is all about talking to counsellors and therapists. While this does make up a major part of recovery programmes, if you are an affected individual then you may also be treated with fitness therapy, which is designed to be used in a whole-person approach to recovery. The following paragraphs will help you find out more about fitness therapy and why it is used in treatment for illnesses such as addiction and behavioural disorders.

What Is Fitness Therapy?

Fitness therapy is an approach used by many rehab providers nowadays. It combines exercise with psychotherapy to encourage you to become more motivated to get better and to achieve your goals. At the same time as treating your mental and emotional issues, fitness therapy will also be helping to strengthen your body.

Fitness therapy helps you to achieve a sense of wellbeing and is an effective tool for treating both the mind and the body. When used in conjunction with other traditional therapies, exercise can be a fantastic addition to help accelerate the recovery process.

As moving the body and getting active can have a powerful effect on the mind and body, it can also help to improve mood. It is for this reason that fitness therapy is often used in the treatment of various addictions, behavioural disorders, and mental health problems.

One of the biggest advantages of fitness therapy is that you can take the exercises you learn and use them in everyday life to help you stay on track when your recovery programme is finished. With exercise able to help lighten your mood, it can be used to distract you if you experience cravings for a particular substance or activity, or when you are noticing symptoms of depression or anxiety.

Get Confidential Help Now

Call our admissions line 24 hours a day to get help.

How Does Fitness Therapy Work?

In the case of addiction to chemical substances, your brain has likely been negatively affected by the substance you were abusing. Even when a chemical substance was not the cause of your addiction, your brain may have been reacting in a similar way to had you been abusing a chemical substance. For example, certain activities such as gambling, shopping, and sex can activate the same pleasure centres and reward system of the brain that substances such as alcohol or drugs can.

However, you may not know that exercise can also cause the brain to release feel-good chemicals that help to lift mood and make you feel good for many hours afterwards. In fact, just twenty-to-thirty minutes of moving your body can help to lift your spirits and make you feel happy for a good few hours. Exercising, therefore, can produce the same pleasurable feelings as chemical substances induce but without the harmful effects. Furthermore, when used as part of a bespoke recovery plan, exercise can actually help to speed up recovery while providing motivation for change.

Since exercise can be used to replace the chemicals that have been abused, it can also be used to reduce cravings and prevent a relapse. With so many fantastic benefits then, it is easy to understand why most rehab providers incorporate it into their programmes.

Understanding Fitness Therapy

Fitness therapy is a powerful tool and is used in treating various health problems apart from addiction issues. By helping to change the way you look and feel, fitness therapy is rewarding and beneficial. It will help to improve minor ailments and can increase energy levels and improve sleep patterns. All of which are essential when it comes to helping individuals recover from problems such as addiction and mental health disorders.

Recovering from addiction, behavioural disorders, and mental health conditions means developing new ways of thinking and behaving. During psychotherapy sessions, you will be encouraged and helped to identify the negative thought processes that have led to your current situation.

Exercise and fitness can be used as a method of changing your maladaptive behaviour. For example, if your automatic response to negative thoughts was always to turn to a substance such as alcohol or drugs, you might find that your new response will be to go for a run or a workout in the gym.

The wonderful thing about being able to substitute harmful substances or activities with exercise is that you will come away with a feeling of accomplishment. It is a far healthier way of alleviating feelings of stress and anxiety than taking mood-altering chemicals.

Another benefit of fitness therapy is that it will improve your energy levels and sleep patterns. If you are in recovery for addiction, you might have been struggling with interrupted sleep patterns for quite a time. After all, it is known that alcohol and drugs can affect the quality of sleep, but when you quit these substances and substitute them with exercise, you are almost guaranteed to feel much better.

In addition to feeling better, you will start to look better as well. Alcohol and drugs can wreak havoc on your physical health and appearance, making you look tired and gaunt. Your weight may have also been altered by the substance you were taking. If you were abusing alcohol, you may have gained weight; other drugs can cause you to lose substantial amounts of weight and muscle mass.

The effect of addiction on your body could mean that you are suffering from low self-esteem and a lack of confidence. You will be amazed at the difference in how you feel when you are healthier and fitter. Your confidence will improve, and you will feel much more attractive. This will in turn help to boost your mood and make you feel great.

What Abuse/Addictions is Fitness Therapy Used to Treat?

  • Alcohol Addiction
  • Prescription Drug Addiction
  • Drug Addiction
  • Sex and Love Addiction
  • Gambling Addiction
  • Internet Addiction
  • Food Addiction
  • Shopping Addiction
  • Smoking Addiction

How Does Fitness Therapy Help in Addiction Recovery?

Overcoming any type of addiction is going to be a major challenge. You need to learn how to live a life without the substance or activity to which you have become addicted. A comprehensive recovery programme incorporates both psychotherapy and holistic alternatives, and for many people, fitness therapy is an effective tool when incorporated into these treatment options.

Fitness therapy is designed to provide you with an outlet that will provide many benefits. These include:

  • lowering body weight
  • strengthening muscles
  • reducing the risk of heart disease and strokes
  • lowering cholesterol
  • reducing the risk of diabetes
  • reducing the risk of osteoporosis.
Get Confidential Help Now

Call our admissions line 24 hours a day to get help.

Exercise can also decrease the risk of some cancers from developing and can prolong life expectancy. It is also said to help with preventing cognitive decline and the onset of dementia. These are all issues that in and of themselves are associated with substance abuse.

By integrating exercise into a recovery programme, your chances of long-term success become much higher. Studies have shown that when exercise becomes a part of everyday life, abstinence rates are higher than in those who stay inactive while in recovery.

The type of exercise that might be included in a fitness therapy programme will depend on your circumstances and overall health. Your age, interests and physical ability will all determine the type of fitness exercise that you could do. Yoga is often incorporated into a fitness therapy programme because there are many different forms, and it can be as vigorous or as relaxing as required. However, a range of different activities can be included depending on your interests and preferences.

Fitness Therapy Techniques

The type of fitness you include in your plan will be one that is decided on by you and your counsellors or therapists. It is crucial that it is right for you, but you can enjoy a range of exercises to help with the healing of your mind, body, and spirit. Below we have listed a few of the fitness therapy techniques that might be included in your programme:

  • Yoga – a common fitness practice included in fitness therapy programmes. It helps the mind and body to heal and can even help to reduce cravings and improve overall wellbeing. Stretching activities such as yoga are ideal for improving flexibility, and because there is an emphasis on breathing and relaxation, it can boost mood and improve awareness as well.
  • Cardiovascular Exercise – can include many different activities including dancing, working out in the gym, swimming, running, and cycling. Any activity that gets your heart pumping faster is included in cardiovascular exercise and are beneficial to those in recovery. Some activities are less strenuous than others on your joints, such as walking and swimming, and are ideal for those with health problems or other limitations.
  • Strength Training – used to work out your muscle groups and can be done with weights or machines. You may also be able to strengthen your muscles using your own body weight. This type of exercise helps to improve stamina and endurance and to make it easier for you to engage in aerobic exercises. Restoring muscle mass and tone is important when recovering from addiction, so strength training is a suitable choice.

How Fitness Therapy Differs from Other Psychotherapies

Fitness therapy is a fantastic tool for those in recovery from addiction, behavioural disorders, and a range of mental health problems. It is used in conjunction with other psychotherapies, but it very rarely works on its own.

For those who want to recover from addiction, for example, exercise can be a great substitute for the substance or activity they wish to break free from. Nevertheless, it is important that you also deal with the issues that caused the addiction in the first place. Fitness therapy can improve your overall sense of wellbeing and can reduce stress, but it will not address the underlying issues that led you to this point.

The aim of fitness therapy is to improve your body and mind, and because it can help with alleviating cravings and symptoms of anxiety and depression, it is a powerful technique that is regularly included as part of a comprehensive recovery programme.

Getting active can help to improve your sleep and can reduce the risk of various health problems that are associated with substance abuse.

Making positive lifestyle changes is important in addiction recovery. By incorporating a fitness regime into daily life, the risk of relapse is potentially lowered. So while other psychotherapies deal with emotional and psychological issues, fitness therapy can complement them to help with long-term recovery.

Get Confidential Help Now

Call our admissions line 24 hours a day to get help.

Co-Occurring Mental Disorders Fitness Therapy Treats Includes:

  • Major Depressive Disorder
  • Generalised Anxiety Disorder
  • Panic Disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Social Anxiety
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Phobia Disorder
  • Unresolved Trauma

Other Supplemental Therapies

  • Art Therapy
  • Music Therapy
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • Dialectical Behaviour Therapy
  • Psychotherapy
  • Psychodynamic Therapy
  • Mindfulness
  • Meditation
Get Confidential Help Now

Call our admissions line 24 hours a day to get help.