Exercise therapy for adolescents is an excellent modality in the broad range of treatments offered at Foothills at Red Oak Recovery. It doesn’t mean that your teen has to be fit. Instead, the therapist works with the program participant at the fitness level they’re at. Here’s how and why it works.
What’s the Point of Exercise Therapy?
Your adolescent struggles with a video gaming addiction. Maybe smartphone use got out of control. They may be dealing with an eating disorder. For others, there are substance abuse issues.
All these conditions have one thing in common: they detract from physical health. Adolescents adopt a lifestyle that’s more sedentary. They don’t go outside much. Few participate in organized sports.
Because more and more schools have cut physical education, they have even fewer chances for exercise. However, exercise is an essential building block of mental and physical health. Exercise therapy can make up for these missed opportunities.
Benefits of Participating in Exercise Therapy
As a holistic approach, Foothills at Red Oak Recovery therapists work with your adolescent to set up a plan. They might incorporate this care option when they want to encourage brain healing. Exercise helps with rebuilding the brain’s structure, which is essential when dealing with process addictions. Of course, a healthy activity also opens the door to a new hobby.
The time your adolescent previously spent on the phone or gaming needs to find a healthy substitute. Exercise easily replaces the unhealthy habit you’re trying to help the teen overcome. Because the program participant can’t help but build personal strength and fitness, they begin to develop higher self-esteem.
Your adolescent has new confidence. They feel able to overcome the challenges they’re facing. Similarly, there’s strong motivation to keep going. The victories build one on the next.
Part of a Comprehensive Personalized Care Protocol
Of course, exercise therapy alone isn’t enough to deal with the issues your adolescent faces. Sure, the modality allows for stress relief and boosts health, but there need to be other therapeutic interventions, too. Examples include:
- Psychological testing and mental health treatment
- Group therapy for peer accountability and encouragement
- Process addiction treatment for smartphone or video gaming addictions
- Individual therapy that allows for private talk sessions
- Family therapy, which encourages loved ones to learn how to support the adolescent
In many ways, using exercise as therapy is a way to redefine the clinical experience. It becomes a building block. Similarly, it builds on the other therapeutic interventions that program participants undergo. Foothills at Red Oak Recovery therapists typically recommend adding nutritional counseling to the mix.
By helping an adolescent take ownership of healthy lifestyle choices, it becomes easier for her or him to take responsibility. Suddenly, it isn’t something that you have to manage. It now becomes something that the teen takes on. In the long term, this is a positive development.
Looking beyond the Immediate Therapeutic Intervention
Trauma or mental health treatments should have measurable outcomes. As your adolescent becomes a young adult, the lessons they learn now still hold true. Therefore, therapists work with you to create a long-term care plan. It focuses heavily on short-range and long-range treatments and goals.
Most importantly, the plan includes benchmarks that let you determine when you reach specific goals. From there, you understand what therapy will focus on next. Therefore, you know how to support the adolescent throughout their personal growth. In the case of substance abuse, it also focuses on interpersonal changes.
For example, your teen may need to make changes to a peer group. Similarly, it may be an excellent opportunity to explore new hobbies and extracurricular activities. Doing so introduces the adolescent to different peers. This action can have far-reaching consequences.