Defining Fitness Therapy

While fitness therapy isn’t exactly new, many people still haven’t heard of it. Thankfully, fitness therapy is as simple as it sounds. Fitness therapy combines psychotherapy with physical exercise to help us strengthen both our bodies and minds.

Physical Benefits of Regular Exercise

Exercise may seem like an overly simplified solution, but there is unanimous agreement that regular physical activity is essential for the optimal function of the human body. It reduces the risk of premature mortality, heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes.

Exercise also improves the function of our joints, bones, and muscles. And it helps us sleep better, too. From head to toe, there are dozens of physical health benefits of regular cardiovascular exercise.

Additionally, the link between our brain chemistry or mental health and physical exercise habits is strong. This means that not only is exercise crucial to our physical health, but it is essential to our mental and emotional health, too.

fitness therapy

Emotional or Mental Health Benefits of Regular Exercise

Exercise reduces anxiety, anger, depression, and other negative emotions, which boosts our overall moods. This is how the endorphin rush during and after exercise earned the nickname of “runner’s high.” Endorphins are feel-good chemicals that reduce stress and pain.

Exercising daily sparks the production of these happy chemicals and makes us feel good emotionally and physically. And depending on the time of day, it can also boost our moods and help us sleep better at night.

Holistic Practices for Addiction Treatment

Traditional therapeutic methods can work wonders for individuals in recovery. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, for example, helps participants learn how to anticipate problems and develop effective methods for coping with them.

Family counseling encourages us to understand how our actions affect those around us and helps us build more meaningful relationships. Similarly, group therapy and support groups help us develop healthy communication skills and learn how to listen.

There are countless benefits to traditional therapies and recovery care methods. But creative and holistic practices have their place, too. If you’re still wondering how physical exercise can help you get or stay sober, there is one thing you should know.

Studies show that people who exercise regularly are less likely to use illicit drugs. Similarly, creative therapies, such as art therapy and music therapy, help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, boost our moods and self-confidence and provide a healthy outlet for expression.

Because different techniques help us work toward different goals, the best kind of recovery care plan is a well-rounded one.

fitness therapy

Fitness as a Foundation for Lasting Recovery

Fitness or exercise therapy is not a new concept. But for anyone who is deep in a battle with addiction, exercise may not be a solution that quickly comes to mind. We’re here to help correct that. Remember those feel-good chemicals or endorphins that we talked about earlier?

Endorphins and other chemicals that we release when we exercise are often the same ones that are released when we take drugs. The difference is that this is a much healthier way to boost our moods and won’t cause more harm than good over time.

When you pursue an endorphin boost through exercise and movement, you earn the same emotional benefits without poisoning your body and mind. Additionally, exercise even helps reduce drug and alcohol cravings, so the more you practice a healthy routine, the easier it becomes to maintain your sobriety.

Exercising at Home vs. Programs for Fitness in Treatment

Fitness therapy is often less formal than it sounds. It may mean walking, skating, hiking, swimming, or taking a spin class. If you are looking for ways to implement the benefits of fitness therapy at home, start with the activities listed above.

If you prefer group activities, ask a friend or relative to play tennis, basketball, or another sport with you. Go on a bike ride with a loved one and end the trip with a picnic and a long talk. Exercising is as simple as moving your body.

Practice yoga, find a calisthenics routine on YouTube, dance to your favorite song, or go to the gym. And when you are ready, we offer a wide range of addiction treatments that will contribute to your wellness journey.

Inpatient Care and Fitness Therapy

Drug and alcohol abuse changes our bodies and brains over time, making it increasingly harder to make healthy choices and produce the right balance of chemicals without them. As a result, when you try to stop drinking or taking drugs, you may feel chronically unhappy.

You know that you should stop because there is no room for drug and alcohol abuse in a long, healthy life. But your withdrawal symptoms, including depression, anxiety, and drug cravings, drag you right back into your old patterns.

If this sounds familiar, it may be time to choose an inpatient rehab program. During an inpatient program, we can teach you how to use exercise or fitness therapy to produce the same chemicals your body came to depend on when substance abuse had its hold.

But even better than that is what else an inpatient program includes.

fitness therapy

What Are the Benefits of Inpatient Rehab Programs?

During an inpatient stay, you may benefit from things like:

  • A comfortable and safe recovery space
  • Medical detox, which eases your withdrawal symptoms and makes the early sobriety stage easier
  • 24-hour access to care, support, and guidance
  • Healthy meals and snacks
  • Fitness, art, music, meditation, and other creative therapies
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • Family counseling
  • Group therapy and support groups
  • Outings and other activities

While residential programs offer the highest level of care, they are not the right fit for everyone. That is why we offer several other treatment options and customize each of our care plans. Because recovery care only works if it fits your unique needs.

Other Treatment Settings for Addiction Recovery

Not everyone needs or wants to commit to a full-time inpatient program, which is why we offer two other high-level care programs. In partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs, you visit our facility weekly for treatments while putting what you learn into practice at home.

We will help you determine which recovery care program will best suit your unique needs.

Creating a Personalized Healthy Routine

Fitness therapy in addiction treatments can work wonders for our physical, mental, and emotional health. But that does not mean that you should limit your focus on fitness to only these settings. Creating a personalized health routine is also important at home.

If you are new to exercising, remember that gradual physical escalation is important. Doing too much too soon can damage your muscles and discourage you from trying again. In addition to exercising regularly, aim for seven to eight hours of sleep each night, and stay hydrated.

Experts recommend about 125 ounces of water per day for men and about 91 ounces of water per day for women. When we treat our bodies and minds well, we promote the balance we need to live in our lives in harmony.

Forging Your Path at a Pathfinders Recovery Center

Recovery starts here at Pathfinders Recovery Center. With personalized care programs and proven treatment methods, we offer high-level dedicated care to every individual and family we meet. Call us today at 866-604-7830 to see the difference a Pathfinders program can make.


  • 7580 E Gray Rd Suite 201 Scottsdale, AZ 85260
  • (877) 224-0761
  • Mon-Sun: 24x7
  • Mon-Fri: 8:00AM – 4:00PM

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