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The Role of Fitness in the Recovery Process

The Mind-Body Connection

Addicts and alcoholics come to Cornerstone of Recovery with broken minds, bodies, and spirits, and our job as one of the best substance abuse treatment centers in the nation is to help them put themselves back together.

Mentally and emotionally, it’s a process that takes time. We point out to patients that they didn’t become addicted overnight and won’t get better in 24 hours. However, one of the first areas they experience success is through our Fitness Program.

Based in a 15,000-square-foot fitness facility that opened in 2014, the Fitness Program at Cornerstone of Recovery is an integral part of the therapeutic process. Patients participate for an hour almost every day of the week. It’s a crucial part of Cornerstone’s whole-person approach to treatment for alcoholism and addiction.

Exercise has been scientifically proven to increase the production of many brain-boosting chemicals, such as:

      • Serotonin – decreases the risk of depression
      • Norepinephrine – allows for increased alertness and focus
      • BDNF – helps restore connections within the brain damaged by drugs and alcohol and restores muscle memory
      • Dopamine – increases motivation and decreases depression
      • Endorphin – the “Feel good” chemical and our body’s natural pain reliever

Exercise Can Be Fun

“For many patients, it becomes their favorite part of the treatment process,” says Marc and Amber, who jointly oversee the fitness facility. Together, the pair have over 50 years of experience in the Fitness Industry and have seen many who have left the facility with a whole new outlook on the aspects of recovery and who will carry their fitness goals into their aftercare”.

The opening of the fitness facility allowed more opportunities for the patients to get healthy. The facility includes treadmills, Elliptical trainers, weight benches, Body Masters weight equipment, free weights, stationary bikes, other fitness machinery, and an indoor basketball court and volleyball court; outside, patients play volleyball on a sand court or shoot hoops in warmer weather. The fitness regimen includes daily classes focusing on strength, balance, flexibility, and mobility.

“We have seen people with all fitness levels come through our doors, older patients with limited balance to CrossFit pros, and they all benefited from using our fitness facility. Everyone has fun and has gained a sense of camaraderie,” says Marc and Amber. They light up when they tell the story of many patients who required a walker and a cane and couldn’t even climb the hill without getting a ride. By the end of their treatment stay, they were walking and even jogging around the fitness center and determined to continue to pursue exercise once they left Cornerstone.

When our clients are consistent and dedicated to their fitness programs, they become confident in other areas of their lives. When a patient can go from being out of breath after a quarter mile on a treadmill on day one to jogging a mile at the end of their second week, the improvements to their bodies give them hope to begin healing their minds and spirits.

At Cornerstone of Recovery, we’re here for every step of the recovery journey. Located near Knoxville, TN, our addiction treatment facilities provide residential and outpatient rehab programs that are effective and affordable. If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, you can reach an admissions counselor any time, 24/7, at (865) 509-9352.

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