Healthy Body, Healthy Mind: The Benefits of a Regular Fitness Program

Residents of our Arbor West program enjoy the Crossfit fitness program as part of the recovery process One may ask, “how does an exercise program benefit the recovery process?” Research has shown that a regular fitness program doesn’t just benefit the body; it also paves the way for a healthier mind. Mental health, cognitive function, and even mood are all improved by incorporating an exercise routine. Long term sobriety is supported when the individual has both a healthy mind and a healthy body.

Our clients participate in fitness instruction up to five times weekly. By the time they are ready to leave our program, they will have experienced the positive benefits of fitness in their daily lives. Additionally, our staff works with each client to continue to include regular exercise into their lives as part of their discharge and continuing care plan.

Evidence-based fitness program

All of our fitness programs were developed using an evidence-based approach to design fitness programs for our clients in residential programs at The Arbor and Arbor Extended Care. Our exercise programs are designed to build strength, flexibility, stamina, coordination, balance and improved energy levels. Clinicians and trainers work with each client to develop a personalized fitness program as part of their treatment plan.

Benefits of exercise for recovery

It’s not uncommon for people in addiction to neglect aspects of their life. Physical health is one of the more common areas subjected to neglect. Exercise is part of our plan to restore clients to good health. Addiction also interferes with the mind-body connection that leads to wellness. This is why regular exercise is an important part of the recovery process.

There are four primary benefits to regular exercise during addiction treatment:

Residents of The Arbor & Arbor West enjoy yoga for substance abuse recovery treatment

  1. Exercise relieves stress. Exercise has been proven to release both tension and psychological stress. Moving your body releases any negative emotions the individual is feeling. Focused exercise engages both physical and mental energy that might otherwise escape in an unhealthy manner.
  2. Exercise creates endorphins. When you exercise, the brain releases endorphins that naturally and positively alter your brain chemistry and release a natural high. Endorphins are also released when someone abuses drugs. However, drugs interfere with a person’s ability to feel pleasure, satisfaction, and happiness. In contrast, the natural endorphins produced by exercise improve your body’s ability to regulate your brain chemistry and moods.
  3. Exercise is meditation in motion. The Mayo Clinic has described exercise as “meditation in motion.” When an individual is concentrating on the physical activity at hand, they also experience the psychological and emotional benefits of meditation.
  4. Exercise makes one feel better about themselves. People who regularly exercise report lower rates of anxiety and depression as well as increased feelings of self-confidence and optimism. Also, achieving the goals set as part of a fitness plan brings about the pride of accomplishment and reinforces the belief that continuous sobriety is possible.

Fitness at The Arbor

Tennis courts at The ArborIn addition to swimming pools at each of our men’s and women’s houses, there are a variety of fitness options available to residents. Guests at The Arbor enjoy instructor-led fitness classes 3 times a week for weight training and 2 times per week for yoga. Available recreational activities include: basketball, volleyball, as well as runs or walks on our 67 acre, Texas Hill Country ranch.


Fitness Drug Rehab RecoveryOur Extended Care Programs is proud to offer CrossFit training. CrossFit has become a wildly popular exercise regime, thanks to its relatively fast results.  Every workout builds muscle and stamina and improves endurance as well as overall fitness levels. One of the hallmarks of Crossfit training is how efficiently it builds muscle.  CrossFit enthusiasts feel healthier and more confident in themselves sooner than with a traditional weight lifting program.


One of the newer therapies introduced into substance abuse rehab is meditation. Meditation has proven helpful as part of an addiction treatment program as it gives addicts something else to focus on other than obtaining drugs. It helps people cope with the stresses that might cause them to relapse and resume drug use. When combined with other therapies, meditation can shorten the time that is necessary for other therapies to become effective.
Call now for a Confidential Assessment
or more information on our fitness program