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The Sober Lifestyle & the Benefits of Outdoor Activities

Turning Point

There are many reasons to enjoy the great outdoors, but perhaps even more so if you’re a recovering addict. It isn’t just good for your physical health to get outside and get moving, it also helps improve your mental health. The American Psychological Association recognizes “wilderness therapy,” and research shows these types of programs provide a multitude of benefits, from increase in motivation, better interpersonal relationships, higher self-confidence, and more emotional control. You don’t need to be involved in a formal wilderness therapy program, though, to reap the benefits of spending time outside. All you need to do is find activities you enjoy outside that provide sobriety support after you’ve completed your drug rehab program.

Three of the ways recovering addicts benefit from outdoor time include:

  1. You’ll enjoy yourself: Outdoor recreation takes many forms, from hiking, to swimming, to camping. When you find yourself stressed, overwhelmed, or experiencing any kind of negative emotion, you’ll be most tempted to relapse. Outdoor recreation has distinct advantages that promote sobriety.
  2. Improvement in mood: Fresh air, sunlight, and the soothing sounds of nature are an excellent way to combat depression, and it can even help prevent relapse. Being exposed to sunlight also promotes Vitamin D production (just remember the SPF 30+)!
  3. Working on your fitness: Most indoor activities are of a sedentary nature, like watching TV or working at a desk. Physical activity and improving your stamina, endurance, and fitness have all been shown to encourage continued sobriety.

Ways to Get Enjoy Your Time Outdoors

If you aren’t sure where to start, or maybe you aren’t as physically fit as the next recovering addict ready to climb Mount Everest, don’t worry. Some outdoor activities don’t raise your heart rate as much as others, and are less physically taxing.

Try these low-impact activities to get outdoors:

  • Go to your local farmer’s market
  • Have a picnic
  • Go camping
  • Gaze at the stars
  • Walk
  • Fly a kite
  • Go apple or berry picking

These are some higher-impact activities you may want to work up to:

  • Hike
  • Canoe or kayak
  • Jog
  • Swim
  • Play sports with friends, even a game of darts or billiards
  • Sled, ski, or snowboard

Turning Point: Steering You Toward Sobriety & a Healthier Future

You’re serious about your sobriety, so why not take advantage of any opportunity to be healthier “you”? If you’re struggling to maintain your sobriety and temptation lurks around ever corner, contact Turning Point for recovery support services designed to help you maintain your sobriety and establish a sobriety support system.

If you would like to learn more about Turning Point, please contact us online or call (973) 380-0905 today.

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