Why Are Healthy Eating & Fitness Important In Addiction Recovery?

Why Are Healthy Eating & Fitness Important In Addiction Recovery?

People recovering from substance abuse are looking for healthy habits to replace the old bad habits of drinking and using. Replacing bad habits with healthy ones helps to increase your quality of life, prevent relapse, and give you a sense of purpose.

A healthy diet and exercising are vital for those in recovery. A specialized professional can supervise a plan to make sure you stay on track. Partaking in such activities heals your body from the inside out, which can only help after putting poison into your body for an extended amount of time.

Diet and exercise also have an impact on your overall quality of life in sobriety. You can stay motivated by maintaining this sense of structure in your life, while also practicing an important form of self-care.

A Healthy Die

Many addicts’ brains constantly crave sources of dopamine. If they are not receiving a sufficient amount from their diet, they are likely to seek it elsewhere from unhealthy places. A well-balanced diet that gives you continual energy and makes you feel good is crucial to success in recovery.

What Foods Are Best for Those in Recovery?

It’s important to remember that your body is gradually healing as it goes through recovery. Because of this, simple sugars and refined flour should be avoided. Both can cause the brain to heal more slowly, while inhibiting the body’s overall ability to recover.

Make sure you are choosing from the various food groups:

  • Meat, poultry, and fish
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Dairy products
  • Bread and grains

By providing yourself with the proper foods, vitamins, and minerals, you are giving yourself a better chance at recovery. This is because the lack of a proper diet can lead to symptoms of withdrawal, ultimately causing the individual to feel discouraged in their sobriety.

Addicts & Malnutrition

Many addicts have several nutritional deficiencies as a result of their past substance abuse. These deficiencies can cause changes in brain function, damage internal organs, damage teeth, and even suppress growth.

Drinking alcohol in excessive amounts can lead to liver disease, pancreatitis, brain damage, pregnancy complications, and other health issues. By restoring your body with healthy foods, you are giving yourself the best chance at recovery by healing your body in conjunction with exercise.

Regular Exercise

Exercise adds structure to your day by giving you something to do at specific times. It can also help combat boredom, which can be a trigger for some in recovery. After exercising, individuals feel more in control, and like they have a sense of balance in their lives.

Physical activities are easy to quantify and keep track of. This promotes positive reinforcement as you show yourself that you are committed to your health, your recovery, and ultimately, your success by checking it off your daily to-do list. Exercise also gives you physical results that you can see and feel.

Exercise can benefit your mental health as well. Regular exercise helps fight anxiety and depression because it releases natural endorphins into the brain. This positive mental state can be activated and maintained after exercise as you go about your day.

Start Small

You don’t have to start exercising intensely. In fact, it is recommended to begin with low-intensity activities and gradually working your way up to more high-intensity exercises. Start by doing yoga or going for a daily walk, then work yourself up to running, riding a bike, or playing sports. By continuing to take small steps in your exercise schedule, you will begin feeling better about yourself as you build self-esteem and confidence.

Exercise & Other Health Issues

Substance abuse can be linked to other mental disorders such as depression and anxiety and health issues such as hypertension and diabetes. Exercise helps to combat these health concerns by lowering blood glucose levels and blood pressure. Physical activity also helps fight against depression by stimulating serotonin production in your brain.

Too Much of a Good Thing

It’s important to note that you can actually exercise too much. Many addicts have the mentality that if something in a small quantity is good, then more of it must be great. For example, if 30 minutes of running feels good, then two hours of running must feel incredible. But if your body is not prepared, strenuous exercise like this can result in severe injuries.

This mentality of excessive exercise is connected to the fact that people with addictive personalities are constantly seeking instant gratification. This is why it’s important for an exercise physiologist or another trained specialist who is familiar with patients in addiction recovery to monitor your exercise routine.

Fitness Community

A sense of community support is crucial for those recovering from substance abuse. By joining exercise groups, running marathons, or attending exercise classes, you are able to feel like you are a part of something bigger. You can also create strong friendships that give you support to lean on.

Balancing a healthy diet and a new exercise routine can be challenging, especially for those who are just entering recovery. But if you make the effort, your body will thank you for it.

Are you struggling with sobriety? A sober living home may be the answer. Camelback Recovery provides a wide variety of services under the umbrella of sober living and recovery coaching. Everything we offer has been specifically selected to contribute towards your recovery journey and long-term sobriety. Call us today at (602) 466-9880 to get started.