Josh Chandler | December 14, 2023

How Nutrition and Exercise Can Aid Addiction Recovery

Addiction treatment and recovery is a whole-person integrated approach. Substance use disorders can have impacts on your physical, emotional, social, mental, and spiritual health. That is why addiction treatment and recovery can’t be a one-size-fits-all approach but rather a personalized journey that targets healing in the various facets that have been influenced by substance use disorders. A critical component for healing your physical and psychological health is incorporating a healthy regime of nutrition and exercise that fuels your body and revitalizes your mind. Understanding how nutrition and exercise can benefit your addiction recovery process will help you develop a nutrition and exercise plan that works for you and your lifestyle. 


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The Role of Nutrition and Exercise in Recovery

The use of alcohol or drugs can have a significant impact on a person’s physical and psychological health. While you’re amid a substance use disorder, it is common for people to experience health concerns such as diabetes, liver disease, hypertension, or heart disease due to the lack of proper nutrition, exercise, and an increase of toxic chemicals entering the body. As you are embarking on addiction recovery, many people will be experiencing a depletion of the essential nutrients that help to fuel your body and help your mind thrive. The implementation of a healthy nutrition regime while ensuring that your body starts replenishing those essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to aid in healing the body. 

The use of alcohol or substances will provide substance users with an increase in dopamine within the brain. When you stop using substances, it is common to search for ways to elevate your dopamine levels without engaging in substance use. Exercise is a healthy and beneficial method to naturally increase your dopamine levels while improving your physical health. You can determine the right type of exercise for you that is accommodating to your physical needs and ensures you have enjoyment while engaging in exercise. Finding a healthy daily routine that incorporates both nutrition and exercise helps to increase your success and longevity in addiction recovery. 

staying fit in recovery


Understanding the Impact of Addiction on Physical Health

Addiction is a disorder that can wreak havoc on your overall health and well-being in a variety of facets including your physical health. Engaging in regular use of alcohol or substances can take a toll on the body by depleting you of essential vitamins and nutrients. Without the presence of these essential nutrients, it can cause your normal functioning to be impacted. Many substance users experience a change in sleep patterns, lack of energy, changes in weight either gaining or losing weight, and overall changes in appearance and mobility. 

Substance use can significantly impact your immune system causing you to become more susceptible to a variety of health concerns. Due to the toxic chemicals that are present in drugs and alcohol, there can be significant strain on your body’s essential organs leading to a myriad of serious health concerns. Commonly substance users will experience liver damage, kidney damage, and heart concerns. These organs are essential for your overall functioning and health. They can lead to serious side effects, and in some cases, can lead to loss of life. There is the ability to restore your body’s organs and overall physical health once you stop using substances and learn how to incorporate healthy daily routines that will restore and revitalize your body. 

The Basics of Nutrition in Addiction Recovery

The best way to start to rebuild your physical health during addiction treatment and recovery is to focus on what you are putting in your body with proper nutrition. A key learning in addiction treatment is developing the knowledge and skills to have a balanced and nourishing diet. Nutrition is a fundamental component to healing your body as you fuel your body with essential vitamins, nutrients, and minerals that work to repair damage caused by substance use disorders and work to revive your health and well-being. 

The basics of nutrition in addiction recovery require understanding the nutritional deficiencies that you are experiencing and developing a nutrition plan that will incorporate the necessary dietary requirements to replenish your body. Finding foods that are rich in nutrients and have higher levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties can help aid the healing and recovery process. 

How Exercise Contributes to Recovery Success

The use of exercise is a valuable component of a recovery journey. Physical activity has significant impacts on your physical and mental health. Engaging in regular exercise helps to improve your overall functioning by improving physical strength, increase heart health, improve organ functioning, and increase your energy levels. Physical exercise can be completed in a variety of methods that can be mindful of your physical limitations or capabilities while still providing optimal health advantages. 

Exercise is not only beneficial for your physical health but can have significant positive impacts on your mental health. Physical exercise has been proven to support healthy mental health functioning and enhance your overall mood. Engaging in regular exercise releases endorphins that help to reduce stress and provide a healthy outlet for stress and anxiety. As your mental health stabilizes through physical exercise, the likelihood of relapse diminishes significantly. That is why a healthy addiction recovery plan will incorporate exercise to act as a form of relapse prevention and grounding technique for mental health functioning. 


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Developing a Balanced Diet for Recovery

As you enter into addiction recovery, it is essential to develop a balanced diet that promotes health, well-being, and long-term recovery. Nutritional plans will be developed around the unique dietary restrictions and needs that you have. The foods incorporated into your diet will be nutrient-dense and help to aid in the body’s healing process. A healthy diet will often include fruits, vegetables, proteins, and whole grains that help to provide your body with a comprehensive level of nutrients and health benefits to promote overall healing and health. A key component to your healthy diet is having proper hydration that will flush out toxins, aid in healthy digestion, and support the detoxification process of addiction recovery. 

Exercise Routines for Sobriety

The exercise routine that you choose for your addiction recovery process needs to be personalized to your individual fitness levels, preferences, and overall health abilities. Exercise can incorporate a variety of activities including aerobic exercises such as swimming, cycling, walking, or running. Depending on your preference and exercise goals, you may want to include strength training in your exercise regime. This can include weightlifting and bodybuilding training that helps to tone and improve your muscle mass while still offering similar health benefits to aerobic exercise. Lastly, there are physical exercises that increase your physical health while also supporting mindfulness and mental well-being. These activities can include yoga, balance exercises, tai chi, and other martial arts. Regardless of what form of exercise you choose, you’ll experience positive health benefits while also finding new activities that are enjoyable while sober. 

Muse Treatment’s Approach to Integrating Nutrition and Exercise

At Muse Treatment Centers, we believe that any patients entering our addiction recovery center deserve to have a holistic, whole-person integrated approach to healing. Our personalized approaches to addiction treatment include a variety of evidence-based therapy methods, medical treatments, and holistic therapies including nutrition and exercise. Our knowledgeable team of medical professionals and addiction therapists will support you in developing a treatment and addiction recovery program that helps to promote healing within your body, mind, and spirit. Patients are offered a comprehensive nutrition and exercise treatment plan while in our recovery centers to help them develop a new daily routine for when they return home that continues to promote health, wellness, and sobriety. Contact Muse today to hear more about your comprehensive addiction treatment and recovery programs and start your journey towards addiction recovery now. Navigating the complexities of insurance for addiction treatment can be overwhelming, but it’s an essential step in your journey towards recovery. It’s important to understand what your insurance plan covers to make informed decisions about your treatment options. At Resurgence, we accept a variety of insurance plans such as health net insurance coverage.

Addiction Treatment Center,Alcohol Addiction,Alcohol Detox,
Josh Chandler
Josh Chandler
After growing up in Chicago and North Carolina, Josh chose to get help with substance use disorder and mental health in California because of the state's reputation for top-tier treatment. There, he found the treatment he needed to achieve more than five years of recovery. He's been in the drug and alcohol addiction rehab industry for four years and now serves as the Director of Admissions for Resurgence Behavioral Health. Josh remains passionate about the field because he understands that one phone call can alter the course of a person's life.

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