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Recovery Through Virtual Fitness Classes

Resilience has become a major tool for people dealing with the challenges of 2020. Sure, COVID-19 and homebound quarantines have made it more difficult to keep up with previous routines. But people still find ways to thrive and, when it comes to addiction treatment, they are testing new methods to help maintain sobriety. Virtual fitness classes are a prime example of this and have become quite a trend for recovery alumni.


The virtual fitness recovery movement recently received a CNN Heroes profile on the news site’s homepage. Several people who have successfully overcome addictions are using this method to inspire others and boost their physical health.


The idea behind virtual fitness includes using a Zoom Chat to bring people together (often in their living room) for an hourlong session of jumping jacks, push ups and cardio exercises. No equipment is needed. Just a positive attitude and a desire to stay active.


Scott Strode was one of the Heroes profiled in the piece. His non-profit organization, The Phoenix, was at the center of the story. A former addict himself, Strode now hosts regular Zoom workout classes specifically geared towards people who have battled substance abuse. As he explained to the site, these types of forums can help tap into many issues that people in recovery struggle with; such as loneliness, lethargy and despair.


“For somebody in recovery, social isolation is a really slippery slope,” Strode explained. “It can often lead to the relapse.”


One of the exciting things that Zoom adds to the equation is the fact that these classes can include people from all over the country. You don’t necessarily have to be from any specific region to join. Inclusion is a big part of Strode’s mission and, on that note, he also makes a point to host fitness classes for all different skill levels.


Respecting privacy is another big component in the way Strode conducts his classes. Attendees are welcome to turn their Zoom cameras on, or turn them off if they feel more comfortable participating from afar. You can also choose to chat or just exercise at your own pace and listen in. And best of all, all Phoenix recovery classes are absolutely free.


Of course the exercising and calorie burning is great, but Strode emphasized that there is one component to his virtual fitness program that he values above all else.


“I always say that people come to the Phoenix for the workout, but they really stay for the friendships,” he concluded. “When we face that greater adversity of that workout together, we build a bond. And in that bond, we find a place where we can support each other in our recovery journey.”