Exercise in Addiction Treatment Centers: Getting Strong and Gaining Strength
This week, we begin an occasional series of guest posts from Lakeview staffers. Today, exercise physiologist Lauren Stobbie, M.S., writes about our exercise program. Look for more in the coming weeks.
As the new exercise physiologist at Lakeview Health, I am very excited to share some of the changes that have been happening around our facility and within our wellness therapy program. Within the past month, our patients have been offered the opportunity to attend group exercise classes five days a week on site. Each day there are 45-minute male and female workouts with varying intensities and styles.
Some days are focused solely on strength training, while others form a boot camp style, allowing for more cardiovascular and high-intensity work. We use kettlebells, resistance bands, slam balls, agility ladders and more. Patients of all ages and fitness levels attend the workouts and each exercise is adapted to fit their individual needs.
Making Health a Priority
Each time new patients come in for their first workout, they are shocked to find out the current state of their fitness level. Many times with addiction, people tend to place their health and fitness on the back shelf. My goal is to educate our patients on the importance of making their health a priority. It has been amazing to watch them continue to push themselves and each other to maintain an exercise regimen while in treatment. The patients always encourage one another and exhibit healthy competition when workouts are completed for time or a prize. Every week they are starting to notice changes in their endurance, strength and physical appearance and this motivates them to continue.
Patients are also offered the opportunity to meet with me individually to discuss their exercise and sport nutrition goals. Before patients leave Lakeview, they get a personalized training program, cardiovascular program, and sports nutrition plan so that they may continue to make health and fitness a part of their daily schedule outside of our drug and alcohol rehab.
Since beginning the exercise programming at Lakeview Health, I have been flooded with questions from patients about their goals, exercise techniques, and proper nutrition. There is nothing I love more than seeing our patients interested in leading healthier lives and educating them on how to do so.
Staying fit is important to lead a healthy lifestyle in recovery, so understanding that you can become addicted to exercise is important. Don’t replace one addiction with another.