The gym at The Oaks was completely revamped in early 2015, increasing the space by 30 to 40 percent. New flooring and a new sound system were installed, and the walls were freshly painted. This flexible workout room was also reconfigured so that it could be used in a variety of ways while providing more open space. The improvements and new workout programs were created under the direction of personal trainer Ryan Smith, who’s been in the business for 15 years and runs Apex Wellness in Memphis.
A Variety of Programs
The workout programs contain as much variety as the space itself. Circuit training and weight training are always very popular, and The Oaks’ self-led workouts posted throughout the gym provide direction while allowing each patient to go at his or her own pace. Medicine balls, punching bags and standard dumbbells are also provided for those simply looking to expend some energy. There are also plenty of methodical exercises available, from rowing and stationary bikes to elliptical machines and treadmills, providing low-stress workouts that deliver tangible results. At the other end of the spectrum, there’s ample floor space to stretch out and relax while getting a low-impact workout.
For those who enjoy competing against themselves or others, a goals board can chart who did the most push-ups on a given day or logged the most miles on the treadmill. It’s all about tangible progress. In other areas of treatment, change is happening, but it can be harder to quantify. Meanwhile, the gym offers a constant barometer of how you’re feeling and tracks measureable results, providing a feeling of accomplishment.
Designed as one big room, the gym provides a functional training environment where groups can work out together. Circuit training can make a workout more fun, and using a board to track the progress of both patients and staff provides incentive for everyone to keep improving.
While the gym space is amazing, some days you just need to get outside. The Oaks’ outdoor programs include a scenic nature trail at the back of the campus (temporarily under renovation in 2018). This quarter-mile loop is a meditation path, but it also does double duty as a fitness course. Stations are located throughout the path that can be done at a leisurely pace as a mindfulness exercise or as a timed obstacle course. These boot camp-inspired obstacles or exercises rely primarily on body weight to provide a workout. Balance beams, pull up bars and climbing obstacles can offer an intense workout, a fun race between a group of friends or a relaxed workout with a change of scenery.
The Benefits of Activity in Treatment
New research is being done all the time that proves that cardiovascular fitness benefits long-term recovery.
For those battling chemical dependency and those working hard to maintain their sobriety, exercise is key. It’s also just a great way to take stock physically each day and create positive habits. That’s why our gym is so important. While improvements like a new sound system may seem minor, we know that music can play an important part in recovery process, affecting mood and encouraging a positive outlook. It all works together to create a comprehensive program, helping patients get the most out of the treatment process.