Over the past thirty years, meditation therapy has become increasingly popular in fields of mental health, medicine and education as a way to manage stress and impulsive behavior and improve emotional stability, mindfulness, decision making, empathy, cognitive function, and overall health. Evidence has supported the neurobiological, psychological, and social benefits that come with regular practice. Some benefits of regular meditation include enhanced brain and immune function; improved focus … [Read more...]
If you are newly sober, your number one focus is to maintain your recovery. You obviously recognize the importance of continuing your 12-step program and working with your sponsor and utilizing the life and coping skills you learned while in treatment. You also realize the importance of rebuilding your relationships with family, friends and other loved that were torn apart as the result of your substance abuse. Most importantly, you realize the devastating effects of substance abuse on your body and mind. The link between health and addiction recovery is one that cannot be ignored. To help you fully heal and give you the best chance at sustained your sobriety, it is important to eat healthy when you are newly sober.
Optimal Health in Addiction Recovery is Important for Lifelong Recovery
When you are in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, the focus on proper nutrition and maintaining your health in addiction recovery can often get lost in the shuffle. It can be a common belief in those new in recovery that indulging in junk food and other unhealthy foods is acceptable, especially when they have bigger beasts to slay in their recovery. While this attitude can be understandable given the trials and tribulations they have endured, engaging in poor nutritional habits in recovery hinders the recovery process--and can do so to the degree that people can relapse back into active drug use
Chronic drug use can exact a severe toll on the body. Some examples of the devastating impacts of addiction on the body are as follows:
- Drug and alcohol addiction disrupts the production of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin which help you feel good about yourself. Additionally, substances prevent your body from absorbing vital nutrients that naturally help maintain feelings of well-being.
- Drug and alcohol addiction compromises your immune system. Chronic and severe malnutrition disrupts your body’s natural defenses. Having an immune system that isn't functioning properly dramatically increases the risk for developing serious diseases such as breast, liver, lung, or colon cancer.
- Drug and alcohol addiction is especially hard on the liver. The combination of chronic drug abuse and poor nutrition severely limits the liver's ability to filter out the toxins that accumulate in one's body when they are abusing substances. The combination of these factors will cause the liver to swell and increases the chances of the development of liver cancer.
When you think about it, recovery is all about developing a sense of balance in all aspects of your life; and this is especially true regarding the link between your health and addiction recovery. When there is focus on proper nutrition and exercise in addiction recovery, your body and mind will become stronger, healthier and happier. While you may not completely reverse the devastating impacts of addiction, adopting a solid nutrition and exercise program in addiction recovery will go a long way in building a new you.
The Benefits of Nutrition and Exercise in Addiction Recovery
The building blocks of learning proper eating habits and using exercise take place during drug treatment. Many drug and alcohol rehab facilities have excellent nutrition and exercise programs that serve as an excellent complement to therapy, life and coping skills training and relapse prevention education. It is understood that when the brain and body are functioning at its highest levels and are in harmony, the chances of slipping back into old behavior patterns become minimized.
The Benefits of Proper Nutrition in Recovery
The role of diet in addiction recovery is an essential part of the recovery process. First and foremost, great nutrition helps recovering addicts feel and look better because nutrients give the body healthy energy, helps in the building and repairing of vital organ tissue, and it strengthens the immune system. Proper nutrition habits in early recovery also plays an important role in the regulation and enhancement of mood. Making healthy dietary changes can alter brain chemistry and structure which influences behavior. By learning how to create a balanced and healthy eating regimen, crucial neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin can be restored to balance in the brain and it can help regulate and enhance mood.
The Benefits of Exercise in Recovery
For those who adopt a regular exercise program in addiction recovery, the benefits of a well structured fitness program will improve cardiovascular health, help those in recovery achieve better strength and balance and improve their sense of well being. Additionally. regular exercise will help people maintain a healthy body weight and boost their self-esteem. Exercise also release tremendous amounts of dopamine through the brain and not only can help improve mood, it can also relieve symptoms of depression and anxiety which are common co-occurring disorders that often accompany substance abuse.
How Can I Improve My Overall Health in Addiction Recovery?
If you are looking to learn ways to make nutrition and fitness an important part of your recovery, it is best to seeking professional help. As stated earlier, an increasing number of drug and alcohol treatment facilities are incorporating nutritional and exercise therapy as a part of their treatment programming. Run by experienced nutritionists and personal trainers, these programs will be able to help you create an overall wellness plan with your unique body chemistry in mind.
If you are looking for more information ways to improve and optimize your health in addiction recovery, Sober Nation is your resource. We feature an extensive library of articles pertaining to wellness in recovery, and our expert staff can locate the appropriate resources in your area to help you achieve wellness in your journey towards recovery. Contact us today!
Have you been snapping at people recently for no reason? How about making decisions that you instantly regret? Are your emotions getting the best of you? Well... Sounds like somebody needs a nap! Sometimes life can feel like there's not enough hours in a day so we try to compensate for that by reducing the number of hours we sleep. Ultimately though, that just comes back to bite us because we end up functioning at a subpar level the next day. Sleep deprivation can effect our judgement, … [Read more...]
Prior to entering recovery, the term “relaxation” was usually correlated with ingesting some type of downer that artificially provided you with a feeling of calm and serenity. Of course, that feeling only lasted so long, so you take another, then another, and thus comes eventual addiction. (It’s a bit more complicated than that but you get the point) After a while our body and mind become accustomed to winding down with the use of some type of external variable which ultimately results in a … [Read more...]
Did you ever think that drinking juice and mental health were related? Mental illness and/or addiction can often be difficult to treat, but it is vital that you are able to do this as effectively as possible – as both can have a huge effect on the way that you can live your life. More than a quarter of us will experience some kind of mental health issue at some point during the course of our lives, and with this being the case we need to do everything that we can to treat and prevent these … [Read more...]
When I got sober at the ripe old age of 24, I did what many of us do - I thought: it’s time to get healthy. I knew enough to start eating three square meals a day, sleep regularly, and move a little. But, being the new, sober me, I wanted more. And heck, I had time and bucket loads of anxiety to use up. So, I took up jogging, from one telephone pole to the next at first, building up slowly until I could jog two miles...then three...then five. I continued to run for quite a few years (like … [Read more...]