It’s important to recognize that recovery is a multifaceted process that needs to be approached from a variety of angles. Typically, there are psychological implications that an addiction stems from that need to be addressed. However, addiction is also a physical disease, and for this reason the physical aspects of recovery cannot be ignored. At Talbot Rehab, we understand that physical recovery is one of the most important parts of treatment, which is why we stress the importance of exercise and nutrition in our program.
Addiction, by its very nature, rewires the way that our brains think by altering our chemical balance. For example, the brain of a heroin addict won’t produce its own dopamine, which means that the cycle of using heroin to feel any sort of pleasure is self-sustaining. Exercise is a great tool in recovery to help break this cycle and stimulate the brain into balancing itself out because of the endorphins that that are released from strenuous physical activity.
On top of that, exercise is a natural part of finding a new, balanced way to live life that is essential to develop, in order to reach true and lasting recovery. Recovering from addiction means treating the body, as well, as the mind, and exercise gives power to our patients that enables them to take a first-hand approach to their treatment.
Here are just some of the exercise elements we encourage for patients in our program:
-Hiking through the wonderful landscapes of southern Utah
-Yoga is a terrific exercise for both the physical and mental health of the patient
-Team activities, which foster personal relationships that are crucial to recovery
-Cardio exercises, such as biking, running, or walking
-Weight exercises and strength training, which can help patients who suffer from insomnia
In order to help achieve physical health and balance that helps heal the body, exercise is only part of the battle. The other aspect is in eating well and being nutritional. Addiction of various forms tends to be destructive for eating habits. Some addicts hardly eat at all, while others overeat to deal with the stresses that addiction has placed on their lives. Poor eating habits can lead to an increase in depression and anxiety, which both raise the risk of relapse, considerably. Eating nutritionally helps the body balance out and get the energy that a patient needs to enable them on a path towards recovery, each and every day.