Recovery and Wellness: What Role Do Nutrition and Exercise Play?

Good nutrition and regular exercise are two well-known components of a healthy lifestyle. While people tend to focus on the psychological healing that occurs during addiction treatment, the importance of focusing on your physical health sometimes gets overlooked. Nutrition and exercise for wellness and recovery involve learning what makes your body feel good. In your recovery program, you will take the first steps towards healing the damage while dealing with your addiction. You will also discover just how much your physical health influences your mental wellbeing.

How Are Recovery and Wellness Connected?

You might have done some embarrassing things while you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Addiction has a terrible way of making you do something that you regret, such as lashing out at your loved ones or getting in trouble with the law. While your behavior was apparent, you might not have realized what happened on the inside of your body.

Drugs and alcohol both have devastating effects on your physical health. People often forgo eating and exercising when they are busy chasing a high. You might have also dedicated your money to buying drugs rather than paying for nutritious food. The damage done by addiction also extends beyond the way drugs affected your behaviors.

Many types of drugs wreak havoc on your gastrointestinal system. Being unable to absorb the nutrients from your food correctly means that you will not get nourishment even if you try to eat when you are using them. Alcohol can also damage your liver and pancreas, making getting nutrients into your bloodstream even harder.

As you enter recovery, you will begin to notice that some side effects of your addiction remain. It takes time for your body to repair itself, but you can regain your former sense of wellness by making an effort to change your eating and exercise habits. Giving your body what it needs to recover makes it easier to transition into sobriety.

What Are the Benefits of Nutrition and Exercise for Wellness and Recovery?

Helping your body heal is only one of the benefits that you will notice of improving your physical health. Structure is essential for addicts in recovery. You can incorporate healthy meals and workouts into your daily schedule to create a structured routine. For example, you might go for a quick jog in the morning to start your day. Then, you can enjoy lifting weights shortly after lunch. Doing some yoga before bed rounds out your schedule.

This same type of schedule also helps you to ease the mental side effects of quitting drugs. Exercising releases endorphins that influence how you feel. After a hard workout, you will feel less anxious and angry about things. You also receive the satisfaction of achieving your goals. Managing to exercise each day for a week or walking further than you usually do is a real confidence booster.

How Do You Improve Nutrition for Recovering Addicts?

Putting together a healthy diet also has benefits for recovery and wellness during your addiction treatment. Many people experience sugar cravings during withdrawal, which is your body’s way of trying to get more dopamine. Giving in to this craving can often lead to crashes that slow down your recovery. Good nutrition for recovering addicts should include low-glycemic foods such as lean meats that help the body to maintain steadier energy levels. If you crave something sweet, dark chocolate or a piece of fruit is easier on your body than a candy bar containing more refined sugar.

You can improve nutrition during addiction recovery by using these strategies:

  • Plan meals ahead of time to reduce the chances of giving in to cravings
  • Prepare and enjoy healthy meals with friends to make it a social activity
  • Choose whole foods that are easy to eat and prepare
  • Avoid dieting since this is a time to fill your body with nutrients and vitamins

What Types of Exercise Are Best for Addicts in Recovery?

Exercise serves as a distraction, and it gets the blood flowing to the parts of your brain that need it the most. Two main types of exercise are ideal for people in recovery. The first type is high-intensity exercises that get your heart pumping and push you to do your best. HIIT programs allow you to pack a ton of activity into a short period. This helps you to see progress faster.

The other type of exercise is more gentle on your body. Yoga and tai chi are two types of exercise that you have probably heard of before. These help you to ease muscle aches and stress that can interfere with your recovery. A good exercise program for addicts will include both types of exercise to energize and soothe your body every day.

NRhythm is a wellness-minded sober living community that is located in beautiful Nashville, TN. Our team of professionals is passionate about helping men overcome addiction by focusing on nutrition and exercise that helps them feel their best in recovery. 

We are here to help those affected by Covid-19. If you need support during this time, book a teletherapy session or an online wellness check-in with us.

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