Just about everyone knows that fitness and nutrition are important if you want to lead a healthy lifestyle. What people may not know is the connection between fitness, nutrition, and a substance use disorder. At First City Recovery Center, we want to explore this with you so that you understand why fitness and nutrition are things we pay close attention to in those we treat.
Addressing the Mental Health Factor
When people mention fitness and nutrition, many picture optimized physical health. While this is true, people often overlook how these things benefit your overall mental health.
One thing we know is that mental health issues can make you susceptible to substance use disorder. First City Recovery Center addresses underlying mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and other issues all the time. Dealing with these underlying issues head-on is the only way you can overcome a substance use disorder.
One study that looked into the connection between depression and fitness found that active people are less likely to feel depressed in their lifetime. There are a lot of reasons why this might be the case. The following are some reasons why exercise might prevent you from becoming depressed:
• Staying fit and healthy makes you feel confident, which is effective against things like depression.
• Fitness could also make you feel good about achieving your goals, and that kind of reinforcement makes you feel capable, which also fights mental health issues.
• Keeping yourself fit helps release feel-good neurotransmitters like serotonin and endorphins that fight off stress. You know that stress can lead you to feelings of depression and even anxiety.
• Exercise and fitness, in general, make you sleep better at night. A good night’s sleep is vital if you want to control your emotions.
Nutrition also plays a big part in this. As strange as it might seem, what you eat could help or hurt your mental health. Studies show that folks who ate a good diet were less likely to suffer from some type of mental health disorder.
The good thing is that all you have to do is change your diet and include the right foods. Choose local, seasonal fruits and vegetables to get the most nutrition from them. Your diet should include fish and healthy omega-3 fats, along with nuts and seeds.
The following are some reasons why eating a good diet helps prevent mental health issues:
• Eating a healthy diet helps you feel healthier. Some folks deal with depression and anxiety because they’re in pain or just not feeling well.
• Buying food you can be proud of is almost like investing in your health. That kind of affirmation of your value helps you feel good about yourself.
• Eating a good diet improves mood, and that’s a good thing if you’ve been dealing with mood-related issues.
• Sometimes, mental health issues are related to problems with brain functions. It’s important to make sure those types of issues don’t happen, and thankfully, healthy foods prevent them.
• Energy levels should be improved thanks to your change in diet, and that could also help you feel like you can keep on moving forward.
We know that taking fitness and nutrition seriously takes a lot out of a person. It requires sacrifice and true dedication on your part. The exercise you do may take time away from other things you want to do. Also, purchasing healthy whole foods can be more expensive than less nutritious fast-food items. However, the investment in your health is definitely worth the time, money, and effort.
How Does Fitness and Nutrition Affect Rehabilitation?
Fitness and nutrition play a big role in rehabilitation. A lot of people don’t know this, but it’s true, and it’s something we use to our advantage. Addressing a substance use disorder is pretty challenging. We need all the tools available to help you overcome your specific substance use disorder.
Some of those tools include things like a dual diagnosis assessment where we tackle the underlying issue you’re dealing with. Other times, we use evidence-based treatment options to help you during this difficult time.
First City Recovery Center incorporates exercise into our plan for folks who allow us to help. Additionally, we place special focus on making sure our meals are as nutritious as they can be.
Exercising has been shown to help eliminate toxins, and that’s something you need right now since you’re trying to get rid of the drugs in your system. Your body is going to have an easier time expelling the drugs if you’re running, jogging, walking, or playing a sport in our center.
We encourage you to participate in these activities for the sake of your treatment and because it’s good for you. Nutrition is very important during recovery as well.
It might not be well known, but folks who have a substance use disorder are often malnourished. These people were more interested in getting their next dose or drink rather than eating properly. This is not good for health, and it also makes the body and brain more susceptible to substance cravings.
Hopefully, you see the value in exercise and nutrition and continue both of these even after you complete your treatment program with us. Doing so will help keep you on the path to sobriety and a healthier life.
Tips to Stick to Your Substance Use Disorder Recovery Workout
Now, if you want to keep up with exercise during your stay here and afterward, you should figure out how you’re going to do so. Having a stay-fit plan is a good idea because it’s easy to stop exercising. Of course, some folks fall in love with exercise and don’t need any extra motivation.
Still, there’s a chunk of people who don’t enjoy exercise. It’s tiring and sometimes hurts, and it takes a long time to see a reward. There’s a lot about it you might not love, and that could make it hard for you to continue your recovery workout.
The following are things you can do to keep up with your recovery fitness routine after you leave First City Recovery Center:
• The first thing you should do is find others who are reaching for the same goal. This could be a group of people who enjoy exercising or a person who wants to keep fit. Fitness buddies make it easier to stick to your fitness goals.
• If you’re thinking of going to a gym, consider working with a trainer. This professional knows how to help you reach your goals. They work with people who don’t want to exercise or find it hard to get motivated. Their job is to motivate you, so use that to your advantage.
• Find a dedicated spot to work out, and it doesn’t have to be a gym. Sure, gyms have their place, and they can be beneficial, but if you don’t want to pay for a gym membership, you have many other options. Find a beautiful outdoor spot where you can exercise, such as a local municipal park or a state or national park. These locations can help you feel at peace while you focus on your health.
• You might want to consider joining fitness boot camps. These are pretty intense, but they’re also very effective. If you’re just not feeling up to it, then these should help. You can join them every so often until exercise becomes second nature to you. Boot camps are usually run by incredibly talented and trained professionals, so you’ll be in good hands.
• You should consider joining a fitness event. There are a lot of them. Usually, the races or marathons are for some type of cause. Maybe it’s to support the troops or help raise funds for cancer research. Find something you’re passionate about, and join that fitness event. Knowing what these are should help motivate you to continue your recovery fitness routine.
• It might be a good idea to download a fitness app that can keep you on track. There’s plenty of them, so just choose the one that works for you.
• Put money into it. Some folks put money in a fitness goal pool. They get their money back if they reach their fitness goal or lose it if they don’t. It might seem extreme, but it does work. This isn’t to say you should put your entire paycheck into this; just a little cash should be good enough. If it motivates you, then try it.
• Announcing your intentions and putting up pictures on social media about what you’re trying to accomplish that day or week makes you accountable. Make it a habit to show your before and after moments so that your loved ones and friends know what you’re doing. Sharing your goals with others can help motivate you to reach them because you don’t want it to look like you didn’t try.
• If you like team sports, you can join a local sports team. Join the one that welcomes your skills, and have fun with this activity. Being part of a team makes you responsible. Plus, joining a team can help you make new friends.
It’s challenging to start a new routine. We know this, but we also know how health and fitness can benefit your recovery. Focusing on improving your health can keep you motivated to stay away from drugs and alcohol while providing a healthy and rewarding way to pass the time.
Tips to Keep Your Recovery Diet
Keeping up with a healthy recovery diet is not easy. Sure, we do our best to make sure you’re eating well while you’re here, but once you leave, the world opens up again. You can eat anything you want, including foods that aren’t nutritious. The following are some things you can do to keep up with healthier food choices:
• Make sure you only buy organic, fresh foods. Don’t allow unhealthy food in your home. With a pantry and fridge full of nutritious items, it will be easier to keep up with your diet.
• Eating out is not always a great idea. You can’t control the ingredients, and most places don’t care about making sure the ingredients are fresh or organic. It’s better to stay in and cook at home.
• Try to download an app that’ll help recommend better foods and ingredients. These apps can be quite helpful for your new lifestyle. Remember that eating well is like investing in yourself, and you need to feel that kind of self-love right now.
• Download or purchase a few cookbooks that focus on healthy eating. It’s wise to start with your favorite dishes; just replace the ingredients with better ones. At some point, you want to try something new, and this is the best way to do that.
Hopefully, these suggestions make it easier to continue the nutrition and fitness routines that keep you going. We want you to be successful, and this information will help you out. If you have some additional questions, don’t hesitate to call us at First City Recovery Center.