Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Four Healthy Habits for Addiction Recovery

Addiction recovery takes a lot of work and all that work can be a drain on your physical health. You can take back your health with a few lifestyle changes. Here are four healthy habits you can adopt to support your recovery.

Healthy Habit 1: A Nutritious Diet

Eating well is one of the best ways to support your whole body’s health. A proper diet will provide:

     Nutrients and supplements to support good physical and mental health.
     The ability to select a menu that can reduce stress, such as foods full of Omega-3. Try adding fatty fish like salmon to your diet once a week.
     Focus and engagement while learning to cook. You can boost your confidence as your cooking skills improve.
     Boost your immune system and increase serotonin levels with a naturally fermented probiotic like PRO EM•1®.

Explore different dietary styles. According to this article at Purple Carrot, a plant-based diet may be helpful for recovering addicts. Ken Immer, a recovering meth addict and former heavy drinker, believes his vegetarian diet helped him stick to sobriety. He also claims it aided his healing process.

While there is no particular diet that people in recovery should follow, experts told U.S. News that good nutrition for recovering addicts should include healthy proteins, like fish and lean meats, fresh produce, legumes, and whole grain foods. It’s also important not to skip meals. Low blood sugar may spur negative emotions and responses.

Healthy Habit 2: Exercise or Sports

A 2009 study showed that regular physical activity “may help in preventing amphetamine addiction.” That is one of an increasing number of studies convincing scientists that exercise can help treat addiction.

When you’re in recovery, it’s important to select an exercise program that fits your needs and abilities. Choose something that’s safe. A serious injury can require pain management and it’s best to avoid that sort of risk.

There are many fun and engaging options to choose from: basketball, jogging, bike riding, yoga, dance classes. Think about what piques your interest and start investigating classes.

Talk to your doctor and your recovery team about integrating fitness as part of your program before you start.

Healthy Habit 3: Meditation

Another great habit to support your recovery is meditation. Deep breathing, mindfulness practices, and prayer can all serve to help lower stress levels and boost both your body’s immunity and energy levels. Focused breathing exercises can help with mental clarity, improved lung function, and relaxation. Research also shows that, along with exercise, these can help your body cleanse itself of chemical toxins that can bring down your mood.

“Mindfulness” activities also positively impact your brain, creating new pathways that empower you to leave old habits and addictions behind. Adding a variety of these practices will help you get maintain sobriety.

Healthy Habit 4: Positive Socialization

As part of your treatment, you’ll need to learn to socialize without returning to substance use. That may mean creating new friendships and finding peer support. Join self-helps groups that practice sobriety to learn positive ways to socialize.  The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. has a comprehensive list of self-help groups for you to consider.

If you struggle to find groups, ask your recovery team about therapy animals. They are commonly very helpful in substance abuse rehabilitation. You might even end up dog walking or adopting a therapy pet, which can further support positive socialization. Learn more about pet therapy from Dog Time.

These four healthy habits can help you on the road to recovery. Remember, they are not a substitute for your addiction recovery program. They supplement the therapies you are already involved with, allowing you to make your best strides towards continued sobriety. 

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