Exercise & Nutrition for Addiction Recovery

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Health, Wellness & Addiction Recovery

Your mind, body, and spirit can be damaged by the effects of drugs and alcohol. At Recovery Centers of America, we work on restoring all three using the power of exercise and nutrition, so you can be content and healthy in all aspects of addiction recovery.

Combining regular physical activity with a healthy diet are two of the most important steps you can take in your path to recovery. At RCA, we provide access to both. Our modern fitness centers and chef-prepared meals work in conjunction to help you put your best foot forward to fight your addiction.

Fitness and Exercise

During your stay at one of our facilities, you will have the opportunity to learn about wellness and addiction recovery to help you embark on a new journey towards become your fittest self. Depending on the offerings at the particular facility in which you recover, you will be able to participate in a variety of activities including tennis, basketball, hiking, weight lifting, and more. We also offer instructor-led yoga.

The benefits of yoga in recovery are immeasurable. Besides the physical benefits like increased strength and flexibility, yoga can also help improve mental health. The breathing techniques that are employed in yoga help to relax the body, bringing with it a feeling of peace. This helps to not only calm your nerves during your practice, but it also assists in teaching your body how to calm itself during stressful moments. Once you start to teach your body these techniques they will begin to come naturally. Continued practice of yoga encourages self-discipline which is essential to staying on the right path in recovery.

On the path to recovery, anxiety can be a huge obstacle. We understand that one of the primary triggers of substance use disorder is anxiety. That’s why we help teach our residents effective tools to overcome anxiety using yoga, mindfulness, and meditation.

Lynn McCormack, RCA at Bracebridge Hall, Certified Yoga Therapist

To further improve and reach your fitness goals, each of our facilities offer updated fitness centers. Fitness center hours are monitored and split by gender so you can feel comfortable working out at your own pace. If outdoor relaxation is more your speed, all our facilities feature meticulously landscaped outdoor space complete with ample seating for your convenience.

Fitness and all types of exercise are a crucial part of recovery.  First and foremost, exercise helps to remove toxins from your body and gives you a natural high by the release of endorphins.  Exercising doesn’t just make you feel better from the inside but can also help to promote a feeling of outward confidence and overall well-being, which in turn can help with any feelings of depression and being able to deal with the stressors we all face in life!”

Erik Weaver, RCA at Lighthouse, Certified Fitness Trainer, Certified Sports Nutrition Consultant

All the physical activities offered at RCA will help your body produce and release “feel-good” chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins are naturally produced in the brain and allow your body to relearn and regulate brain chemistry on its own. This can have tremendously beneficial effects on physical and mental health, including:


Alleviation of stress and anxiety

More restful sleep

Reduction in depression symptoms

Improvement in confidence levels

Increase in brain power and energy levels

Sharpened memory

In addition to generally feeling healthier, all of these benefits can also help you better control your addiction. Regular exercise can help keep your mind off worries and remain focused.

Fitness and exercise, however, is only half of the wellness battle.

The benefits of physical activity by itself is tremendous for everybody, not only physically but mentally. When you can include something structured and goal oriented such as fitness as a part of someone’s path to recovery its helps with goal setting, filling voids within the day and can lead to becoming a part of a positive community.”
-Patrick Hoiler, RCA Capital Region, MS, NSCA, CSCS, FMS 1

Diet and Nutrition

At RCA, we want your mind and body to be as strong as it can to fight against addiction. We provide expertly-crafted meals to help your body get the nutrients it needs.

During active addiction, it is common for your body to develop nutritional deficiencies. This doesn’t always mean the damage is permanent. At RCA, we help your body begin to reverse these deficiencies by providing nutritional, well-balanced, chef-prepared meals. Recognizing the importance of good nutrition in addiction recovery is another crucial step in restoring health to your mind and your body. Achieving optimal health is an ongoing endeavor and we work to help you stay focused, not only while you are in treatment but also after you leave.

Nutrition is an essential component of the recovery and the overall healing process. Proper nutrition aids in the repair of any prior damage that may occur throughout addiction and allows for the body to function at a more optimal level. Adequate nutrient consumption helps to restore physical and mental health to promote a successful recovery.
Jillian Mozitis, RD, LDN, RCA at Devon, Registered Dietitian

Throughout your treatment, we provide various breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. Meal selections can range from omelets or oatmeal for breakfast to sandwiches and protein-packed dishes for lunch and dinner. In addition, we provide a soup of the day option as well.

With a vast selection of food offered, there is something that will appeal to every taste! We will also work with you to honor any special meal requests and make accommodations as we can.

Click here to view a sample menu.

We offer such a variety of food because we believe that nutrition is a key component in overcoming substance abuse issues. Combining regular exercise with healthy, nutrient-dense meals can help you to:


Restore mental and physical stamina

Increase sense of well-being

Reduce negative emotions and stress

Strengthen the mind and body

Like your mind, your body needs to be in optimal condition to help you successfully navigate through addiction treatment and into recovery. It is important to note, however, that while proper exercise and nutrition are crucial pieces, they are not the only pieces. We believe that combining healthy habits with evidence-based treatment and therapy will give you the best chance at achieving meaningful recovery. Our caring team of therapists and counselors will help strengthen your mind through individualized therapy,

We also understand that strong mental and physical health isn’t always reliant on simply providing food or health tips. If you are having difficulty with disordered eating, we can help. Please visit our Eating Disorders page or call for more information about our Eating Disorder treatment.

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