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The Importance Of Physical Health In Addiction Recovery

The implementation of holistic programming to provide the tools necessary to battle addiction is an important function in the early stages of recovery (both in rehab and sober living communities). Because it focuses on healing the mind, body, and spirit collectively, this whole-person approach offers the best chance at long-term recovery, complete restoration, and ultimately a life free from addiction.

Addressing your mental health is critical to relapse prevention, but it's also important that you take care of your physical health.

Healing Your Body After Drug And Alcohol Addiction

Recovery from the effects of drug and alcohol addiction begins with becoming sober and eliminating substances from your system. It then becomes a lifelong journey that requires you to build a strong foundation for a healthier way of life. Long-term substance abuse likely took an enormous toll on many parts of your body, including your liver, kidneys, heart, and immune system.

But, when it comes to focusing on your physical health during recovery, it isn’t just about repairing the damage caused while you were using. Your body must also re-learn how to function sober. This means it's up to you to help it heal by providing the healthy nourishment it requires, and develop an exercise routine to help it grow stronger.

Eat Healthier To Get Stronger And Feel Better.

The very first thing you can do is to commit to a healthier diet. This doesn't mean you have to give up the occasional sweet treat or salty snack you love so much but instead eat them in moderation while making a conscious effort to add more nutritious foods into your daily meals. For example, swap out your usual side of french fries for a salad or steamed vegetables when you are eating out. Around the house, stock your cupboard with nothing but healthy choices like protein bars, fruit, yogurt, and nuts so you develop healthier snacking habits when the urges hit. You can also try out new recipes that include wholesome foods and commit to eating three healthy meals every day. Trying healthier recipes and cooking with better foods may lead you to be interested in a culinary hobby, and any new activity that can keep you focused on your sobriety is beneficial to relapse prevention.

Exercise Your Way To Looking And Feeling Better

Staying active is another essential aspect to improve your physical health in addiction recovery. It can start out as something low-impact, like a walk around the block before or after a healthy meal, and potentially evolve into daily jogs or joining a gym. Whatever works for you on your journey. It's very important to pick an activity that will work with your daily schedule and is something you enjoy doing so you have a better chance of sticking with it.

Don’t push yourself too hard too quickly because your substance abuse has weakened every area of your body both mentally and physically, and you may get discouraged if you overdo it. Park your car further away from your destination, take the stairs more, and start keeping track of your steps with an app on your smartphone. You'll quickly find that a goal of 10,000 steps per day is a fun achievement to track and chase.

Once you start feeling stronger, there are many fun ways to exercise and stay active. When you’re ready to get into a regular exercise routine, consider joining a gym. As a gym member, you can meet other people who may turn into workout buddies or you can sign up for group fitness exercises like yoga, aerobics, or a stretching class. There’s always a class available for every interest and fitness skill level and you’ll have the opportunity to meet new people in a pro-social environment. Having a friend to help you stay focused and to push you to work harder can make exercising much more rewarding.

Additionally, regular exercise has emotional benefits with studies showing that exercise releases endorphins that make us feel good during and after any physical activity. Group fitness programs such as yoga classes or racquet sports can also provide opportunities to be social and make friends who can be supportive in your exercise goals, and potentially in your recovery journey.

Better nutrition and routine exercise are essential to the "body healing" component of a holistic approach to addiction recovery. This new and improved healthy lifestyle not only will repair the body from substance abuse, but it will also provide the building blocks to achieve lasting recovery.


JacobsWay provides safe and structured sober living and holistic restoration in transitional homes for men and women. If you or a loved one are struggling on your journey toward a life free from addiction, contact JacobsWay today for information on how we can help.

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