Strength, Courage and Resilience

When someone enters recovery, they’re often dealing with the wreckage and chaos of the past. This is a complicated process that requires a tremendous amount of strength, courage and resilience. While detox, residential treatment and psychotherapy are important parts of the recovery process, exploring the issues that underlie your substance use can be exhausting and painful. Sometimes, it’s important to take a break and give yourself time to process everything you’ve experienced.

Involving the body in recovery is one way to do this, allowing patients to clear their minds and explore new ways to heal. Exercise has been shown to help patients manage the intensity of addiction treatment by encouraging stress relief, emotional regulation and a sense of balance. When patients have the opportunity to recharge after a hard day, recovery becomes a more productive, engaging experience. Fitness therapy re-energizes the mind and may improve treatment outcomes by helping patients stay focused on the goal of long-term sobriety.

Why is Physical Fitness and Exercise Important?

Healing from addiction is about much more than abstaining from drugs or alcohol.

Substance use has an impact on your wellness that extends far beyond brain chemistry, so long-lasting recovery must heal the body as well. As addiction takes hold, the body experiences a multitude of symptoms that have far-reaching consequences. Not only does someone struggling with drugs or alcohol often neglect their personal health and hygiene, but they are also flooding their systems with harmful substances that wreak havoc on their overall fitness and well-being. Patients often arrive at treatment with a variety of health concerns.

These ailments are one of the obstacles patients must overcome when entering treatment — healing your body and regaining your physical strength are integral to the recovery process. At Journey Hillside Tarzana, we not only help you achieve a healthy mental state with experiential therapies and highly personalized care, but we also take treatment a step above and harness the power of physical fitness and exercise to heal your body. Our fitness regimen is carefully designed to restore more than just your physical health by providing holistic treatments that acknowledge the mind-body connection.

Common health concerns patients arrive at treatment with

  • Malnutrition resulting in deficiencies of essential nutrients
  • Weakened physical state
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Hygienic concerns
  • Dental problems
  • Poor circulation
  • Kidney and liver problems
  • Poor sexual health
  • Symptoms of withdrawal
  • Transmittable diseases such as HIV or hepatitis

Does Exercise and Fitness Therapy Really Work?

We’re all aware of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, but the effectiveness of fitness therapy in addiction medicine is backed by independent research and various clinical studies. A 2016 study in the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment demonstrates how integrated exercise is effective in improving treatment outcomes by helping recovery patients manage stress, one of the significant risk factors for relapse. A 2013 study in the Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews explored why exercise is so effective in the treatment of substance use disorders. According to the authors, exercise evokes the same reward pathways in the brain as those activated by drugs and alcohol. Physical activity also releases endorphins and other “feel-good hormones,” in addition to increasing dopamine concentrations and receptor binding. They found that these combined effects can form new neural pathways and decrease an individual’s motivation to use drugs or alcohol.

The growing body of research suggests the efficacy of physical activity in the treatment of substance use disorders is the result of a combination of behavioral, physiological and neurological processes. When the benefits of physical fitness are applied to drug and alcohol treatment, patients not only enjoy improvements to their overall health and wellness but also benefit from lower relapse rates, reduced cravings, fewer withdrawal symptoms and an enhanced recovery experience. At Journey Hillside Tarzana, we are committed to providing our patients with all the tools they need to achieve long-term recovery. To give our patients every opportunity to heal, we offer a variety of therapeutic fitness activities in combination with personalized recovery plans and evidence-based modalities for comprehensive care that exceeds industry standards.

Benefits of Physical Fitness and Exercise

The correlation between exercise and improved treatment outcomes is clear. Engaging in physical activity has positive effects on the brain and overall health, but it benefits patients in other surprising ways as well. Exercise helps patients process difficult emotions and adds structure to the day. The release of endorphins that occurs after physical activity also works to heal the mind and combat depression and anxiety. Furthermore, being active can improve mental health by providing a confidence boost. Although often overlooked, feeling good about yourself and your abilities is an important part of recovery. A positive self-esteem contributes to long-term sobriety by supporting the development of healthy, productive behaviors. This is important because a poor self-image can reinforce negative thinking and undermine meaningful progress in recovery.

Exercise may also reverse some of the damage addiction has done to the body. Long-term exposure to drugs or alcohol can lead to serious physical complications, such as poor nutrition, low energy, weakened muscles, poor circulation, digestive issues and hormonal imbalances. Physical fitness can help your body heal from addiction in a variety of ways.

Ways physical fitness can help your body heal from addiction

  • Reduce blood pressure
  • Lower risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Stimulate the immune system
  • Raise your energy levels
  • Increase the production of feel-good hormones
  • Improve memory and brain function
  • Help regulate sleep cycles
  • Strengthen muscles

Rediscover your self-worth

Engaging in exercise has also been shown to help those in recovery rediscover their self-worth by improving their independence and self-sufficiency. When you take control of your physical fitness, it becomes less daunting to tackle other areas of your life as well. Achieving your fitness goals or simply committing to an exercise routine will help you feel a sense of accomplishment and make your recovery goals seem more manageable.

Physical Fitness and Exercise at Journey Hillside Tarzana

At Journey Hillside Tarzana, we integrate physical fitness into our signature and specialty programs to help patients achieve comprehensive healing that addresses both their mental and physical needs. Our exercise programs are designed to provide patients with a variety of high and low-intensity workouts that can be modified depending on their unique goals, fitness level, abilities and preferences.

We utilize a team-based approach that encourages active participation, collective motivation and community support to inspire patients to become stronger mentally and physically. Our techniques show patients that they are capable of much more than they thought they were; they learn to push their limits, reach their goals and work together with others. These skills will continue to benefit patients long after they leave our facility and contribute to living a healthy, fulfilled life free from substance use.

Contact Journey Hillside Tarzana

Journey Hillside Tarzana in Los Angeles, California, is a luxury treatment center providing patients with highly customized, intimate care. Located in the secluded hills of Los Angeles, our facility is ideal for healing in comfort and privacy. With lush outdoor spaces, a basketball court, a pool and Jacuzzi, we provide plenty of opportunities for patients to get out, be active and discover how physical fitness can improve their recovery.

If you or someone you care about is struggling with addiction, fill out a form or call us today at 833-756-8763 to learn more about our comprehensive programs.