‘Bike Therapy’ Is Becoming A Popular Recovery Tool
Summer is certainly the season to be in nature and enjoying the sunshine. And within our industry, a new treatment method is gaining popularity which takes advantage of the great outdoors. That, of course, would be Bike Therapy, which allows patients in recovery to focus their energies on challenging rides and calorie burning. Just as you imagined, bicycle therapy involves riding groups who hit trails and keep up a regular regimen.
One area where bike therapy has really caught on is Queensbury, New York. Recovery groups from that region have made big headlines recently and been profiled throughout social media. Glens Falls Hospital’s Center for Recovery recently put together a successful program, specifically targeting addicted teens. Organizer Chris Collins (himself, a recovering addict) told The Times Union that it has done wonders for people throughout his community.
“I found that biking was a great stress relief,” he explained. “It builds your confidence back up, it gives you a little self-worth when you’re out there, and you get that sense of accomplishment.”
This particular bike therapy group builds weekly challenges and encourages teamwork among its participants. Exercises include hitting specific trails each week and assigning tasks to various members. As the program goes on, the endurance levels rise and riders are forced to pedal under more extreme conditions. Counselors have found that the difficulties ultimately become very rewarding and trusting relationships are soon built.
“We’re asking them to do some really hard work,” Glen Falls counselor Joseph San Antonio added. “If we’re not going to engage them, then we’re not going to be able to do that work.”
And the best part about this particular program? If the participants successfully complete their recovery process, they are awarded new bikes; courtesy of the local Freedom Machines organization. So far, Freedom Machines has given away 108 bikes to people in the program.
When asked about their thoughts on bike therapy, a Freedom Machines rep explained that this gift can be helpful in more ways than one. Not only do the new two-wheelers encourage independence and continuing the treatment regimens, they can enlighten the lives of former addicts who have now lost driving privileges.
We, for one, are big fans of the program and feel it can be especially applicable to the lifestyle we lead in Southern California. We are literally surrounded by beautiful trails and amazing riding opportunities. Giving a recovery patient the opportunity to appreciate that, as well as building structure and goal setting, is clearly a win win.
To learn about all of the unique therapies that we offer, we encourage everyone to reach out at 866-986-2486. We believe in all of the fundamentals behind bike therapy and can certainly have some two-wheelers waiting, if it will help your loved one achieve a successful recovery.