Exercise and nutrition play an important part in the overall health of an individual in both a physical as well as a mental capacity. In the treatment of chemical dependency, exercise and nutrition also serve the purpose of an adjunct therapy in that they are forms of stress reduction and relaxation.
Physical exercise is any bodily activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall wellness. It is performed for various reasons including strengthening cardiovascular system muscles, honing athletic skills, weight loss, as well as for enjoyment. Frequent and regular physical exercise boosts the immune system, and helps prevent the diseases of affluence such as heart disease, cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, and obesity. It also helps improve mental health, helps prevent depression, and helps to promote or maintain positive self-esteem. The basic exercise plan in treatment for substance abuse is comprised of 3-5 days per week of planned activity consisting of weights, yoga, pilates, cardio and swimming, and is augmented by extracurricular activities such as kickboxing, running or jogging.
Nutrition is the provision to the body of the vital materials necessary to support life. Many common health problems can be prevented or alleviated with a proper diet. Nutritionists are professionals who specialize in meal planning, and preparation. They are trained to provide safe, evidence-based dietary advice and management to individuals as well as to institutions. A nutritionist is an integral component of every addiction treatment facility. Healthy meals are prepared by knowledgeable staff to encourage overall better health of the addicted person. Much has been written about exercise and nutrition, and it has been said that “we are what we eat,” diet and exercise play an important role in the overall heath of everyone including those suffering from dependency to drugs or alcohol.