It is a fact that young men who get physically stronger and in shape have more confidence and self-discipline. Research also shows that young adult and teen health issues, both physical and mental health, improve with exercise. This would be reason enough to have vigorous exercise as a part of a treatment program. However, the problems go much deeper, thus the demand for solutions to go much deeper.
Chemical and process addictive behaviors create good feelings in the brain that resonate throughout the body. When a person realizes that they need to stop an unhealthy behavior and be abstinent from it, displacing those good feelings in a healthy way is paramount in becoming whole and healthy. Aerobic exercise for 30 to 60 minutes will cause endorphin and enkephalin neurotransmitters to be released in the brain that cause good feelings. These benefits are helpful in gaining traction in the right direction, but they are also a part of a healthy, balanced and fruitful life. The feeling of strength, ability, good internal feelings by the release of endorphins and enkephalins in the brain, and confidence from looking healthy and fit are staples in the growth to become a good man.
However, the primary therapeutic benefit of our exercise therapy is the healing and health of the brain, which is the organ we treat as counselors. One of the most impactful ways to heal the brain from substance abuse, behavioral abuse such as porn and trauma damage is through aerobic exercise. Dan Siegel, in his book Mindsight, says that 45 minutes of cardio exercise 5 times per week is one of the most effective ways to heal the brain and make it healthy. Our workout regimen is 60 minutes of aerobic exercise – 30 minutes on a cardio machine and 30 in a fast-paced weight lifting circuit, which is also aerobic – 5 days per week.
It is fun to watch clients who start to see muscles grow on their bodies looking in the mirrors and flexing. Therefore, we have wall-to-wall mirrors in the weight room. While the clients may see their physiques as the primary benefit to the workout, our primary goal is the health of their brains, and we tell them this. Continuing their exercise regimen after graduation is one of the top correlates with successful outcomes. Most of our graduates who continue to work out are doing well, and most of those who are not doing well have long ago discontinued their workouts.