Proper Nutrition and Exercise in Recovery from Addiction


Proper Nutrition and Exercise in Recovery from Addiction

How do Drugs and Alcohol Damage the Body?

Poor diet and lack of exercise is unhealthy for anyone whether they're abusing drugs and alcohol or not, improper nutrition and an inactive lifestyle can lead to serious medical complications over time.


Substance abusers are not only causing harm to their bodies with the chemicals they're consuming, they're also leading negative lifestyles that involve poor nutrition and irregular eating habits. This can have a significant negative impact on their bodies and overall health which causes even more harm to the body.

Unfortunately individual's that are actively abusing drugs and alcohol, to some degree are malnourished. Substance abuse is a major cause of nutritional deficiency in the United States because drugs and alcohol actually burn up huge amounts of vital nutrients, vitamins, and minerals in the body.

Alcohol and drugs keep the body from being able to break down nutrients and expel toxins properly which can prevent a person from feeling hungry. It's also not unusual for substance abusers to feel somewhat full when they've barely eaten anything which also leads to poor eating habits and malnutrition. Because addicts neglect their diets, they often forget what it even feels like to actually be hungry and may even interpret the feeling of hunger, as a craving for drugs.

How Does Diet, Nutrition and Exercise Impact Recovery?

Vital nutrients not only supply the body with energy, they help to keep our organs healthy and fight off infection. Natural food supplies enter into the body and provide the essential building blocks that are needed to replace worn or damaged cells, maintaining body structure and functions, and enhance growth.

In order for food to be beneficial to our body and overall health, it has to be digested. Digestion starts in the mouth and continues in the stomach and intestines, with assistance from the pancreas. The nutrients from the digested food are then absorbed from the intestines into the blood and transported to the liver. The liver then prepares the nutrients for immediate use or storage for future use.

All digested nutrients, vitamins, minerals and proteins have an essential purpose in the body and sticking to a well-balanced diet and consuming meals on a regular basis during recovery, can aid in the over-all healing process. Consistent proper nutrition and plenty of exercise can have a positive effect on the entire body including a person's mental health.

The Benefits of Exercise in Recovery

Due to research, we know it's clear that exercise helps the body whether a person's in recovery or not. Improved long term fitness helps with cardiovascular health, diabetes, lowers the risk of some types of cancers, stimulates the immune system and can even help alleviated depression symptoms. Further research shows that exercise can increase the amount of new nerve connections in the brain, which will allow the brain to heal from the harm the substance of abuse was causing.

Recovering from substance abuse is a process that takes time, but a person can greatly influence their healing process when they include a healthy well-balanced diet every day and some form of exercise. Just getting outside and walking can not only aid in healing of the body, this form of exercise will also make you feel better mentally too which is very important during recovery. Good nutrition and some form of exercise every day or as often as you can will also benefit sleep which is important to the healing process during recovery as well.

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