How Health and Fitness Impacts Addiction Recovery

Despite what most movies and TV shows would lead you to believe, there’s more to addiction recovery than group and one-on-one therapy sessions with counselors. Many centers listed on Rehabs Finder offer a more holistic approach to achieve a healthy body, soul, and mind. In some cases, that includes an intentional focus on exercise and nutrition.

Read on to learn how health and fitness can impact your recovery journey and what DARA Rehab in Thailand is doing to help its clients achieve holistic health.


Why Exercise and Nutrition Support Addiction Recovery

Have you ever heard the old adage “Healthy Body, Healthy Mind”? Well, it’s true. Rehab centers that make exercise and nutrition a priority often find that their residents sleep better, establish healthier daily habits, are more present in therapy sessions, and exhibit improved cognitive functions.


Exercise programs can vary greatly based on a client’s individual needs and goals, but any kind of exercise is helpful in supporting addiction recovery. For example, yoga is a great opportunity for clients to meditate and process all they are learning and experiencing in rehab. High intensity training or mixed martial arts training, on the other hand, allows participants to get any anger off their chest and learn to be assertive rather than aggressive.


For the best results, many recovery centers will combine their exercise program with a nutritional meal plan. Addiction wreaks havoc on the body and brain, and a nutritional diet can go a long way towards repairing that damage. Some substances rob the user’s ability to experience happiness naturally, but nutritional foods can help regenerate neurotransmitters in the brain that release and receive those natural feel-good hormones, like melatonin and serotonin.

In combination, exercise and nutrition are key to restoring health to the body so that recovering addicts can pursue healthy minds as well.


Exercise and Nutrition at DARA Thailand

Among the centers listed on Rehabs Finder that promote exercise and nutrition, DARA Thailand displays a particularly strong commitment to using these tools to achieve holistic health for its clients. Dr. Niall Campbell explains, “We’re not just focused on sobriety being the absence of addiction; it’s more the presence of life and a life worth living.”


Each new resident starts their fitness journey by completing questionnaires on their lifestyles and exercise experiences. Then, they meet one-on-one with a personal trainer to dig deeper into the specific goals they’d like to achieve. Some clients want to lose body fat, others want to focus on flexibility, and still others want to gain weight and recover from the malnutrition caused by their addiction. DARA Thailand’s personal trainers then write completely personalized programs for each client to help them meet their goals while also taking the current condition of their health into account. On-site fitness facilities include a flexibility area, gym, MMA equipment, and pool for clients to use.


In addition to following a customized exercise program, each resident of DARA Thailand benefits from a carefully planned nutritional menu. Not every client’s diet is the same, so there are always options available to meet a wide variety of goals and dietary needs, including hot meals, fresh fruit, and a delicious salad bar.


If you think eating healthy food sounds boring, think again. DARA Thailand serves different food each day and provides fun themed meals as well—including holiday parties and monthly barbecues. Dr. Campbell says,


“We just think that part of having a balanced diet is not being too militant about it, so we really want clients to be able to understand what it is to occasionally treat themselves… but still keep their physical health and nutritional health good.”



The center has worked hard to eliminate sugar and processed food from its menu, helping residents avoid the temptation to replace a substance addiction with a sugar addiction. Their focus on local, natural, whole foods that are organic whenever possible supports residents in their pursuit of healthy bodies, souls, and minds.


Meet DARA Thailand’s Fitness Manager

Behind this comprehensive fitness program is DARA Thailand’s Fitness Manager Paul Reynolds. In addition to working one-on-one with clients, Paul also works closely with the center’s therapists and chefs to ensure that the fitness and nutritional programs support residents’ overall recovery.


His team offers personal training to each resident to help them understand how to work their body as it was designed to be worked. They teach self-care techniques through yoga and meditation while providing healthy outlets for difficult emotions in MMA and high intensity sessions. Paul hopes that the habits residents form at DARA Thailand will continue once they return home. He remarks, “By the time a client leaves, we hope to have gotten them back into the routine of exercising on a weekly basis. We hope to have reignited their passion, enthusiasm, and motivation for wanting to exercise.”


He also works with the kitchen to ensure a nutritional menu that provides the right balance of macronutrients and micronutrients. He explains, “In addiction recovery, nutrition is essential to regenerate neurotransmitters in the brain, the natural feel-good chemicals. You’ve got to remember if you feel good, you’re less likely to want to use. It’s also essential to help repair damage that may have been done by substances and begin to replenish and get you functioning optimally physically and mentally.”


Like every other part of the treatment program at DARA Thailand, the exercise and nutritional focus is designed to set clients up for a lifetime of success in sobriety and holistic health. Paul Reynolds is a key figure in planning and implementing this comprehensive approach for the benefit of each and every resident.


Recover from Drug and Alcohol Addiction in Thailand

To learn more about how DARA Thailand can help you or your loved one recover from drug and alcohol addiction, visit their website and bookmark their listing on Rehabs Finder. Be sure to download the Rehabs Finder app today in order to save DARA Thailand to your favorites as you explore the options available to you. Whenever you’re ready, the app makes it easy to contact the center with a simple tap of the finger to speak with the staff directly and have your questions answered.