Nutrition and fitness can become integral components of any professional drug addiction treatment plan. Often integrated into drug treatment center offerings, due to their positive effects on the brain and body, physical training and nutritional guidance can make a difference in recovery – from the detoxification stages to preparation for sober living.
The Role of Nutrition at Drug Treatment Centers
Professional nutritional food preparation ensures proper levels of vital nutrients, many of which have been deficient during chemical dependency and can play a central role in the body’s recovery. Antioxidants lower oxidative damage and raise immunity, reducing the chances of infection and vital organ damage (particularly to the brain and heart). The inclusion of Omega 3 fats can also benefit the body’s healing process, particularly in the respiratory and cardiovascular systems, as well as increasing healthy cholesterol, reducing lung inflammation and promoting proper bone density.
Studies have also demonstrated the mental health benefits of Omega 3 fats, with research suggesting reduced incidence of depression and improved symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in those who receive adequate levels of the fats, as compared with Omega 3-deficient peers. Nutritional services during drug treatment can also ensure the proper levels of amino acids – the building blocks necessary for production of essential proteins and compounds throughout the body. Amino acids can aid the drug addiction recovery process, promoting healthy metabolism, nutrient absorption, mood stabilization and cognitive learning enhancement.
The Importance of Fitness at Drug Treatment Centers
Physical exercise causes the body to release endorphins – naturally-occurring hormones that serve to both enhance mood and reduce pain and discomfort levels in the body. Regulated by the pituitary gland, endorphins generally release during high levels of physical sensation, such as by the experiences of pain, sexual activity or other adrenalin-producing events. Endorphins serve to affect the brain’s neurons, resulting neurological chemical levels, and opioid receptors situated throughout the brain stem and body.
This natural dynamic prove to be beneficial during the drug treatment process, allowing the release of energy and mood stabilization during all stages of recovery, particularly because of some drugs’ ability to initiate deficiencies in endorphin levels (such as opiates). Additionally, fitness serves to regulate both weight and appetite – two aspects of daily health that tend to fluctuate outside of healthy ranges when drug addiction takes place. Generally found in the form of guided fitness routines such as cardio classes, yoga sessions or group sports, fitness options at drug treatment centers also tend to offer exercise centers to accommodate individual fitness needs.
Endorphins in Fitness Training and Maintenance at Drug Treatment Centers
Another positive effect of endorphin release during physical exertion is the ability to physically train in more effective ways for overall bodily strength during drug treatment rehabilitation. Endorphin release facilitates effective exercise, making workouts more pleasurable as well as more productive. This dynamic is responsible for the phenomena known as “the second wind” or “the runner’s high,” allowing individuals to push past limitations and safely reach fitness goals. As endorphins begin to interact with the brain’s hypothalamus, healthy weight loss can also be facilitated, as they affect the brain’s ability to regulate fats and stimulate healthy food desires, while promoting efficient use of food fuel in the body.
In fact, if individuals find themselves able, endorphins can also aid the physical detoxification and withdrawal process, by lowering physical discomfort and improving mood and mental function. Studies have demonstrated that the length of mild cases of depression can shorten for those who exercise, allowing individuals to return to mood balance sooner than their non-exercising peers. Benefits of exercise during inpatient drug treatment also extend to decreased sensitivity and low-level pain such as headaches or cramps, immune system strengthening, heightened memory performance, sharpened clarity and improved cognition.