Health in Sobriety

Exercise and Healthy Habits in Recovery

For years, we abused not just our friends and families, but also ourselves in our addiction. Years of mental and physical abuse caused by addiction and malnutrition leads addicts into an unhealthy state of being, to say the least. One way to confront this in recovery is by implementing a regular exercise routine, a regular breathing routine, and a nutritious diet. Addicts must take an active role in their physical, mental, and spiritual health in their recovery, which will ultimately lead to a boost in self confidence, an increased brain functioning, and a healthy routine that keeps one driven towards success.

By regular exercise routine I don’t mean getting ripped and acquiring gains; I simply mean an implementation of an active routine a few times a week. This exercise routine can be as simple as a walk around your neighborhood a few times a week, and as complex as a fully designed gym workout; the important thing is to get active and get moving. In the midst of our disease, physical health was not only not a priority, but it was barely an option. This causes a slue of issues in non-addicts, but particularly for people who have suffered the turmoil of drugs and alcohol on their brain and body, this only adds fuel to the fire. Drugs and alcohol have an adverse effect on the body, and years of abuse can have detrimental influence on one’s overall well-being. People in recovery must first accept this fact, that their bodies are in an unhealthy condition and then they must take the contrary action to do something about it. Get up and get moving, bottom line, and over time, implement a routine that works for you and your body. The results will come, but they’re not as important as the principles behind getting involved with your physical health. Do anything, literally, ride a bike, take a walk, lift some weights, or even do yoga, it doesn’t matter; the point is that you must get into action now, in order to regain a level of physical health that is necessary for a complete life. This aids in the way one feels, and functions, which are things every individual in recovery should be after. Regular exercise helps improve cognitive function, heart health, and physical well being, which in turn aids in the way one feels and responds to certain stressors. This “good feeling” and healthy response to certain stressors is essential to good recovery, and in turn gives one the self esteem necessary to get through the tough times in life that may or may not lie ahead.

The best way to supplement a regular exercise routine is with a healthy diet. There are many fad diets, but the diet I am talking about is just one that is high in vegetables, low in fats and excess sugars, and rich in essential vitamins. The simplest way to start is to replace unhealthy options with healthier options, and implement vegetables into most meals. I’m not arguing for anyone to go to the extreme, but I do think that it is necessary to focus on and improve ones diet in recovery as soon as possible. This will ultimately aid in the recovery process by helping improve the bodies ability to fight free radicals and metabolize. Although I’m no nutritionist, it has been very easy for me to consistently improve my diet by replacing certain options with healthier options; white bread to wheat bread for example, or iceberg lettuce with baby spinach. The trick is to implement a great diet over time in order to get used to the taste of healthier options. After a while one starts to crave healthier foods and they become the preference over foods high in fats and sugars. Eating organic is also a great option if your finances allow it, and there are farmers markets multiple times a week in each city that can help you find fresh produce grown with great care. A healthy diet will also help with cognitive ability, body functioning, and overall well-being, which are the things people hope to gain in their recovery besides sobriety and peace of mind.

There are so many ways to exercise and so many ways to improve your diet, but the point of this article is to encourage you to do so yourself. Every individual, regardless of just those in recovery, should take an active role in improving their well being through the implementation of an exercise routine and a healthy diet. These simple lifestyle changes are tough to implement at first, but over time they become a preference and aid in the nurturing of good habits that keep people driven and moving forward. A regular exercise routine and a healthy diet is essential to the recovery of the body and mind, and because of years of abuse we must amend the damage done to ourselves and take ownership of our own health immediately.

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