19 FEB 2021

Understanding the Importance of Health and Fitness in Early Recovery

Recovery isn't just about leaving your addictions behind. It involves developing a new way of living that provides you with a safe foundation to prevent relapse.

Healthy eating and exercise are an important part of your early recovery process. Your addiction affects your body as well as your mind. Keep reading to find out why healthy living strategies will help you to heal and move on.

The Benefits of Exercise in Early Recovery

At the start of your recovery journey, you're going to feel stressed out. Changing a habit is never easy to do and the stress you feel can make you want to reach out for your drug of choice.

Stress Relief Through Exercise

Exercise is the best natural stress-reliever. It stimulates the release of endorphins, which are neurotransmitters that make you feel happy. When you feel stressed out or the need to seek out drugs or alcohol becomes intense, exercise can help take your mind off it.

Improve Mind-Body Balance

Exercise also helps you to tune in and listen to your body. Taking a yoga class, for example, will teach you to lean in to a stretch and focus only on your body and mind in the present moment. Learning how to listen to your body will help you to understand how it affects the way you think. It isn't the only route to recovery, but regular exercise will open up the path to a better mind-body balance.

How to Use Healthy Eating in Recovery

Introducing healthy food will help your body to recover and repair itself from the damage done by your addiction. You will be able to boost your immune system and improve cell regeneration with a healthy diet.

Avoid Transfer Addiction

When you're feeling low it is tempting to reach for something that will give you an immediate fix. Sugar-laden or junk foods are the quick answer - but they'll make you feel worse overall due to blood sugar spikes and crashes. Reaching for an alternative to your usual substance of choice may seem like an ideal route to recovery. However, it can cause transfer addiction: replacing one thing with another, instead of addressing the underlying issues. The first step is to ask yourself why you're feeling a craving. This will help you to restore your mind-body balance and learn how to change your behavior patterns - instead of filling the gap with a different substance, like sugar.

Snack on a Rainbow

Eat as many colors as you can, every day. Fruit and vegetables are great for building up your health, and each color will help in a different way. For example, orange vegetables such as carrots contain beta-carotene which converts to vitamin A in the body. This is essential for cell regeneration. A green vegetable will have different nutrients: broccoli contains immune-boosting nutrients, while kiwi fruits could repair damage to DNA.

Eat Regular Meals

If you aren't used to eating regularly, set timers during the day to remind yourself to eat. Regular meals will stabilize your blood sugar throughout the day. This will help keep your mood stable, and you'll be less likely to experience weak willpower if you're in control of your mood.

Cook with a Friend

Recovery can cause you to feel uncertain about your relationships. If you aren't ready to re-establish your social life outside of your home, bring your friends to you! Invite a friend over to help you cook a delicious and healthy meal. This will give you social confidence you may have lost while deep in your addiction, as well as teach you how to cook healthy meals at home.

Speak to an Expert

You're not alone in your journey: we're here to help. If you need help to introduce healthy eating and exercise into your early recovery process, get in touch with our expert team today.