An organization one of our clients is currently working with is Revive of the USA, based in Leominster, and its co-founder Anthony Bizzotto, is a true inspiration.
Bizzotto spoke on a recent episode of The Herren Project, an organization started by Massachusetts native Chris Herren, who is also a former professional athlete involved in providing free resources and support for the treatment, recovery and prevention of substance use disorder.
Revive of the USA is a nonprofit recovery community outreach program composed of a mobile team of certified and insured fitness trainers who have extensive experience in both fitness and recovery (from addiction, trauma, behavioral issues, etc.).
Bizzotto’s own recovery journey — from drug addiction that began in his teens — was the inspiration for his organization. A Fitchburg State grad who was a Division 1/professional football prospect, he fell into addiction and homelessness before turning his life around in his late 20s.
During his stay at a recovery facility, Bizzotto realized that patients were receiving care and information on how to make their brains choose a different path than substances, but their bodies were not being given equal care and information to balance the recovery process.
While at a recovery facility, he began working out regularly and noticed the improvement in his mental state. Soon, other residents joined his sessions and this was the catalyst for Revive Inc.
According to the Mayo Clinic, regular exercise may help ease depression and anxiety by:
- Releasing feel-good endorphins, natural cannabis-like brain chemicals (endogenous cannabinoids) and other natural brain chemicals that can enhance your sense of well-being
- Taking your mind off worries so you can get away from the cycle of negative thoughts that feed depression and anxiety
It can also help you to:
- Gain confidence. Meeting exercise goals or challenges, even small ones, can boost your self-confidence. Getting in shape can also make you feel better about your appearance.
- Get more social interaction. Exercise and physical activity may give you the chance to meet or socialize with others. Just exchanging a friendly smile or greeting as you walk around your neighborhood can help your mood.
- Cope in a healthy way. Doing something positive to manage depression or anxiety is a healthy coping strategy. Trying to feel better by drinking alcohol, dwelling on how you feel, or hoping depression or anxiety will go away on its own can lead to worsening symptoms.
Revive Inc. participants are placed into youth and adult residential recovery programs across New England to get them moving and feeling good again (a mobile fitness and recovery coach for residential/non-residential recovery programs) by triggering natural chemicals in the body that help stimulate, heal, and grow the individual mentally, physically and spiritually.
“As a non-profit that was started by a former substance abuse addict, we are aware of the struggles that plague our nation regardless of what stage of addiction a person is in,” Bizzotto states. “It is our belief based on scientific research, that physical exercise will not only benefit participants that are in recovery but also serves as a protective barrier for individuals that are on the edge of relapse, struggling with active addiction or are high-risk.”