Recovery from drug addiction is a long journey and now that you are clean you deserve congratulations. But if you’re feeling run down, tired, and can’t summon much energy for a celebration, it may be because of all the damage that you did to your body by taking drugs. We often hear about the impact of drugs on the brain and on mental health, but years of drug abuse can also take a huge toll on your body. To really heal from your addiction, and to help you avoid relapsing, you need to take time to heal your body. With nutrition and exercise, you can slowly begin to feel well again.
How Drugs Have Devastated Your Body
You know what drugs have done to you. You can feel it, you can see it, and you have witnessed the aftermath throughout your entire life. Now that you have focused on rehab and getting sober, you can put your energy into repairing the damage done to your body. Different drugs cause harm to you in different ways, but long-term abuse of any drug will leave its mark on your body.
Smoking pot can leave you with a chronic cough or recurring bronchitis. Cocaine abuse can leave you with insomnia, damage to your nasal passages, difficulty swallowing and gastrointestinal problems. Methamphetamine causes liver, lung and heart damage in addition to dental problems, insomnia and hepatitis. Heroin abuse can lead to collapsed veins, infections in the heart, abscesses, arthritis and HIV. All drug abuse also has the potential to cause you to develop nutritional deficiencies that may lead to even more health problems.
Make Room for Good Nutrition
When making changes to heal your body after addiction, it is important to be gradual and take small steps at first. Doing too much at once may be overwhelming and you will be more likely to stick with new habits if you bring them in slowly. Nutrition and food are great places to start. It’s a good idea to work with a nutritionist who understands your particular needs as an addict in recovery, but there are also some ways to get started on your own.
As an addict, eating probably received low priority in your day. Now that you’re sober, make sure you eat regular meals and snacks throughout the day. Eat foods that are low in fat and include plenty of lean protein to help rebuild your muscles. Include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet for vitamins, fiber and minerals. Avoid processed, simple carbohydrates and eat whole grains instead.
Exercise, but Start Slowly
When you feel ready, you can start to add exercise to your new healthy lifestyle. As with nutrition, start out slowly and you will be more likely to stick with your new routine. Walking is a great place to begin and including a friend or family member in a daily walk will help you commit to your fitness plan. Increase the lengths of your walks every week by small amounts.
To get into more serious workouts, you might want to enlist the help of a trainer. This is particularly important if you have any physical problems that might be worsened by exercise. Trainers know how to individualize workout plans for your particular needs. A good routine will include both cardiovascular exercise and strength training to build muscles.
Getting your body back in shape is an important part of your recovery. Improving your physical health will make you feel better, and when you feel better, you are less likely to relapse. To fully enjoy your new life, focus on your health.