Taking Care of Your Physical Health in Recovery

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Taking Care of Your Physical Health in Recovery

Substance abuse and addiction wreak havoc on your body. Not only does excessive alcohol consumption and illicit drug use bring with it a large number of potential health risks, but the obsessive craving of addiction often leaves you unable to establish routines needed so your body can continue to function well.

In recovery, it is very important that you take time to care about your physical health. Recovery offers you a unique opportunity to turn your life around and establish new habits that advance your health, and doing so is an essential part of ensuring your plans for sobriety will be successful. Here are a few of the practices that can help you learn to care for your body, routines that should become a part of your recovery process.

Healthy Eating

Food is the fuel that enables your body to operate. Eat regularly, at the same time every day to ensure that you are getting the maximum benefit of taking in nutrients. There is a lot of confusing information about nutrition, and it can be easy to get confused or sucked into any manner of fad diets, but the best diets are ones that are balanced.

This means five vegetables or fruits every day, healthy portions of starchy foods like potatoes or whole-grain bread and pasta, two or three servings of protein-rich foods such as lean meats, fish, eggs, and beans, and one or two dairy products or calcium-rich substitutes. Foods that are high in sugar and fat should only be eaten sparingly.


Bodies are designed to be physically active. Regular physical exercise is very important in allowing your muscles, lungs, and heart to remain strong. Take time each day for exercise to remain healthy. If you are not accustomed to regular physical activity, you can start by simply going on regular gentle walks and enjoy many benefits.

You should experiment with a wide variety of physical activities, to see what you enjoy and find the most beneficial for your day-to-day energy levels. Some of the most helpful activities for people in recovery include cardiovascular exercise, such as walking, running, swimming, or cycling, and yoga, or other ways to build flexibility in a gentle setting.


In order to remain healthy, it’s necessary to sometimes stop and allow your body to recuperate, and concentrate on healing from stress placed on it, rather than always dealing with new stresses. Meditation, gentle stretching, or even just engaging in enjoyable activities are all important ways to give your body space for needed relaxation.

It’s also very important that you give yourself an adequate amount of sleep every night. Early recovery frequently disrupts sleep times, so at first, you should simply get used to sleeping whenever you are tired.

Eventually, it is enormously helpful to set patterns of going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day. Generally, adults need about seven and nine hours of sleep each night to be in optimal health.

Regular medical check-ups

Your doctor is an indispensable resource in helping you monitor your health and get treatment when anything is wrong. A lot of health problems start out small, and may not be anything you can detect yourself until it is too late. For that reason, it is very important to meet with a doctor on a regular basis, having check-ups at least once a year, to make sure everything is running smoothly.

Taking care of your body is a very important part of the recovery process, and heals more than simply physical symptoms alone. Giving the body a chance to heal is a way of coming back home to the body and developing the discipline of taking care of things we are used to neglecting. In taking care of your physical health, you are learning anew how to respect yourself and recognize that you deserve the time taken to ensure that you can thrive in the best sober and healthy life possible.