Most commonly-abused drugs can cause various heart problems. The effects vary widely from increasing or decreasing your heart rate, to causing infection or calcification; often leading to a heart attack or vein collapse.
Substance abuse damages the heart, so it’s important to make the recovery of this vital organ part of the substance abuse recovery process. Fortunately, even if your heart has been compromised by drug abuse, it’s not too late to take care of the problem and encourage healing. For Heart Health Month this February, we want to share with you the following three ways you can strengthen your heart:
Exercise Your Muscles, Including the Heart
Exercise is very beneficial to the heart, both in preventing heart problems and in improving the heart’s condition. Boosting your physical fitness can lower the chance of developing heart disease and can even help the heart recover if you already have heart disease.
Exercise can also reduce your risk of getting diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity, or combat these conditions if you already have them. As these are risk factors for heart disease, preventing or fighting these conditions can help your heart. The American Heart Association suggests exercising at a medium level for 150 or more minutes every week (reduce that to 75 minutes a week if you exercise at a higher level).
In the addiction treatment plan at Bluff, we incorporate exercise to improve your success with recovery. This part of your recovery program has the added benefit of strengthening your heart during the process. With our team of medical professionals, including attending physicians, we can determine the level of physical fitness that will be most beneficial for your body before you begin.
Improve Your Diet
The American Heart Association explains that healthy eating is one of the best ways you can maintain your heart health. To eat for your heart, maintain a healthy intake of daily calories and eat nutritious foods that include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and fish. Choose low-fat versions of dairy foods and meats. Also, limit red meat, sugar, trans fat, saturated fat and sodium.
For meals at Bluff, we have registered dietitians creating the dishes with proper nutrition in mind. Meals include healthy ingredients such as fish, vegetables and fruit. These nutritionally balanced dishes help with rehabilitation and get you started with a heart-healthy diet. We also work on nutritional deficiencies as part of your treatment program.
Make Relaxation and Stress Relief a Part of Your Life
Focusing on ways to relax can help your heart by calming your heart rate, lowering your body’s stress response and reducing your blood pressure. Relaxation through meditation and yoga can complement your other medical and health treatments.
We use different relaxation techniques within our addiction treatment program at Bluff. We offer daily meditation sessions for relaxation, to create positive self-awareness and to facilitate mental health benefits. We also provide yoga for its breathing exercises and its poses that improve strength and flexibility. We have other amenities as well that can help you relax including nature trails that offer picturesque views of Augusta. At our center, we create a calming setting with natural beauty on 178 acres to help you find peace and serenity during your stay.
Diet, exercise and relaxation can strengthen your heart and facilitate your recovery at the same time. We can help get you started with these routines to maintain the longevity of your heart health and your ongoing recovery.