Can Being Outdoors Help Treatment?

Several health benefits come from being outdoors. Many people do not realize the healing power of nature, especially when it comes to addiction recovery. Research into addiction treatment has seen tremendous progress in the last few decades. As a result, more treatment options are available now than ever.

As a result, people also have more control over their recovery journey. Seeking treatment is not just about deciding which treatment method is most effective. It is about determining which treatment works best for you as a whole. 

Additionally, more people are adopting a holistic approach to their treatment plans. Holistic therapy focuses on treating the whole person, not just the disease. This means treating the mind, body, and soul. 

Treating the entire person sometimes requires methods that may initially seem unorthodox. For example, did you know that being outdoors can significantly improve your treatment outcomes? Getting outside and surrounding yourself with nature has several mental and physical health benefits. NorthStar Transitions' Colorado facility is an ideal place to learn more about the benefits of being outdoors and experiencing the health impacts of nature for yourself.

The Benefits of the Outdoors 

In general, there are several wellness benefits associated with the outdoors. Two significant benefits to highlight are physical and mental wellness.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture states, "Being outside in green spaces supports an active and healthy lifestyle." Spending time outdoors offers endless opportunities for physical activity. These opportunities provide a healthier way of life in areas like improved sleep, increased life expectancy, and even stress reduction. 

There are also mental benefits associated with the outdoors. For example, being outside can reduce your risk of depression, decrease stress, and restore or strengthen mental capacities such as focus. 

Additionally, research showcases the health benefits of green space exposure. Exposure has many benefits, such as improved blood pressure, cardiovascular health, and respiratory function. 

The Outdoors and Addiction Recovery 

In addition to reducing stress, improving sleep, or increasing cognitive function, spending time outside is a good activity to include in your relapse prevention plan. Spending time outside, and enjoying nature may seem obvious based on the vast range of other health benefits. However, many people don't know how or why outdoor activity improves relapse prevention.

Relapses sometimes occur due to boredom or the inability to avoid specific triggers. Spending a lot of time outside helps people avoid boredom or provides an outlet for cravings. For instance, say you are going about your day and suddenly experience intense cravings. One way to manage that craving is to remove yourself from the situation and go for an outdoor walk, hike, or even some outdoor yoga. 

Getting outside will provide many more benefits than staying indoors and allowing that craving to stew. You can even partner up and schedule regular outdoor activities with someone in your support network. 

Many people set goals for their recovery. That may include improving fitness, training to run a marathon, or trying a sport that has always been of interest to them. All these opportunities create a concrete plan for a successful recovery and get you out into the great outdoors. 

Outdoor Activities to Try 

It is crucial to find sober outdoor activities you enjoy. These activities promote healing, improve your health and attitude, and are enjoyable. Not every activity may be something you are interested in continuing, which is okay. Some things you can try to get yourself outside more include: 

  • Camping with friends, family, or a sober community 
  • Hiking, even if it is just easy nature trails 
  • Going for a walk for at least 30 minutes a day 
  • Bike riding if you have access to a bike 
  • Getting together a group to play a sport

These are just a few outdoor activities to try during your recovery. You may enjoy some more than others, but remember that experimenting can be part of the fun. 

Colorado Outdoor Lifestyle 

One of the many benefits of our Colorado recovery center is the diverse outdoor access individuals can experience. The Denver-Boulder metro area is ideal for mountain lovers, and individuals who love skiing or snowboarding, fishing, hiking, biking, or are interested in trying these activities. Remember, to become an outdoor enthusiast; you do not have to be an athlete or wildness expert. All you need is the desire to try something new and maintain recovery. 

Additionally, one of the goals at NorthStar is to offer clients a sanctuary where they can heal and seek a whole-person approach to treatment. Our location allows us to deliver programs that help heal the mind, body, and soul. So, if you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, give the outdoors a chance and reach out to us for help today. 

Research indicates that being outside can reduce stress, improve sleep, heighten cognitive function, and enhance cardiovascular and respiratory health. Therefore, individuals in addiction recovery should consider implementing outdoor activities into their recovery plans. Outdoor activities that boost your recovery can be done solo or with a group of family members, friends, or support group members. Not only will they distract you from triggers, cravings, or relapse, but you will reap all the benefits of spending time outdoors. Additionally, you get to bond emotionally with the people you are with. NorthStar's Colorado location is ideal for individuals who enjoy outdoor activities or want to try them. To learn more about our location and programs, call (303) 558-6400.

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