Creating a Healthy Lifestyle for Long-Term Success in Addiction
Getting treatment for addiction is an enormous first step toward being healthy and substance free.Your recovery is meant to last a lifetime, and it takes changes throughout every aspect of your life to maintain sobriety. One of the best ways you can support your own success is to incorporate healthy habits into your daily life, especially healthy eating and exercise.
What Goes Into Your Body Should Feed You
You already know that drugs and alcohol affect your mind and body. The reality is that everything that goes into your body affects you in some way, including what you eat, even if the effects aren’t as immediately obvious. Eating food that is high in nutrients supports your body’sneeds, including boosting liver function and cognitive ability. Everyone needs to support these critical body functions, but for someone in addiction recovery, eating nutritious foods is especially important because it helps repair damage caused by substance abuse.
Changing your lifestyle to incorporate healthy eating can be tricky, especially when your focus has been on recovery. According to The New York Times, it’s common for people in recovery to become dependent on fatty and sugary foods because they send a “reward” signal to the brain that is similar to, and often replaces, the use of substances. Breaking this cycle can be tough, but when you start eating food that serves your body’s needs, you will feel the difference with increased energy, making it easier to stay motivated to eat right.
One reason many people struggle to make eating healthier a daily habit is that they get confused by all the different diets out there. When you’re constantly hearing about a new fad diet, it’s hard to know which one is best. Instead of “dieting,” a good general rule that helps make eating right a habit that sticks is to cut or eliminate highly processed foods and instead eat a colourful variety of fruits and vegetables, along with lean protein and whole grains. Making this lifestyle switch doesn’t have to happen overnight. CNN recommends starting slowly by making small changes.
Staying hydrated is essential for overall health too, but many of us don’t drink as much water as we should. One tip is to add lemon or lime to water to give it a little flavour without adding calories. Just be cautious about soda and caffeine because they can undo your wellness goals with added sugar and artificial ingredients.
Find Exercise That Works for You
Making exercise a regular part of your life in recovery is just as beneficial to your overall health, both physical and mental. Building stamina and strength through regular exercise helps you feel better physically, and getting stronger also boosts self-confidence and belief in your ability to overcome challenges. One of the most important parts of continued recovery is managing your emotional and mental health, especially when it comes to stress and anxiety. Getting your heart rate up through exercise reduces depression and anxiety, while increasing happiness. Some of the best exercises for managing mental health are running, hiking, and yoga. Even though these exercises maximise mental health benefits, the most effective exercise is something you will actually do, so it’s important to find something you enjoy and that meets your needs. You might find that getting out in nature by hiking or kayaking provides the ultimate stress relief. Or you might feel more energised going for a run or joining an upbeat dance class. Your ideal workout routine may be a combination of those, depending on what you need day to day. You may benefit from group fitness or having a workout buddy who helps keep you on track with your fitness goals and is also a positive support person for maintaining sobriety.
Change is an inherent part of recovery, and changing your lifestyle to include healthier habits is an essential part of caring for your body and mind through this process. Just like other aspects of recovery, making these changes isn’t always easy. Using these tips, start making these changes gradually so that eating right and exercising become habits that last long term.