Sometimes it’s hard to spend time outdoors without making an active effort to do so. This is especially true after the winter months have created a routine of getting cozy on your couch and binging your favorite TV shows. Making a habit of participating in outdoor activities and scheduling time to be in nature is essential for a sustained recovery. It can help mitigate substance use disorder (SUD) and mental health symptoms by boosting your mood and easing your anxiety. The benefits of both movement and nature are numerous and can improve both your mental and physical health.
Benefits of Outdoor Activities
Making an effort to participate in outdoor activities can lead to numerous benefits. It can help you create healthy habits by encouraging the practice of mindfulness. Nature can provide a boundary between you and the busy flow of your everyday life. Doing so can help you enjoy the present moment by connecting with your senses and the environment around you.
Being in nature is relaxing, which means it can reduce stress and can also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Enjoying the outdoors can be motivating, particularly in motivating you to exercise. Many outdoor activities involve movement but are also filled with the calm of being in nature – so it doesn’t feel like exercise. Furthermore, being outside can also encourage social activities by helping you create bonds with others.
Types of Outdoor Activities
Certain types of outdoor activities might appeal to you more than others. For instance, you might be looking for the type of outdoor activity that will help you unwind from your busy day, give you an adrenaline boost, keep you cool from the sun, or allow you to leisurely enjoy the outdoors. Different types of outdoor activities can lead to different types of health benefits.
Into the Woods
- Hiking: One of the best ways to get fresh air and connect with nature is by going for a hike. Going on a hike allows you to take a break from your busy life and enjoy the beauty and sensations of nature. It’s a great way to work your body without making exercise feel like work. There are many different types of trails with various levels of difficulty.
- Camping: There’s no better way to remove yourself from the pressures of everyday life and detach from technology than going on a camping trip. Going camping can involve various levels of remoteness – snuggling in a sleeping bag on the ground, a log cabin, or a secluded cottage. Disconnecting from the world can sometimes give you the chance to distance yourself from life’s problems and give you a new perspective on your life.
- Ziplining: If you’re looking for some adventure and a little bit of an adrenaline rush, ziplining might be right for you. It also allows you to get out of your comfort zone and try something new. Trying new things can help build your confidence. You may even surprise yourself with what you can do.
- Rock climbing: This can also provide you with the exhilaration of ziplining with the benefit of strengthening your body and your mind. Going rock climbing can improve your leg, arm, and abdominal strength, as well as your critical thinking skills.
- Paddleboarding: Paddle boarding is a popular watersport that involves standing on a water board while using a paddle to navigate through the water. Some people even use paddle boards for yoga. Paddleboarding is a sport that can encourage mindfulness as you glide through the water.
- Kayaking: This outdoor activity can be done on a lake, river, or ocean. Going kayaking can be relaxing or thrilling, depending on the body of water you’re navigating. You can take kayaking tours and breathe in the beautiful natural scenery around you or take in the thrill of navigating rapids.
- Jet skiing: If you’re looking for a good thrill on the water, jet skiing is the way to go. You can rent jet skis to take on a large lake or ocean. The sound of the water splashing behind you and the wind whipping in your face can be exhilarating.
- Going to the Zoo: The zoo is an excellent outdoor activity if you are looking for a less intensive day activity. At the zoo, you can get fresh air, get some exercise, and watch the animals.
- Mini-golfing: If you are looking for something to do that’s more social, you could try mini-golfing. Playing mini-golf can give you a chance to bond with friends while offering you the opportunity to hang out in nature.
- Going to the Beach: You can go to the beach with friends and make it a social activity, or you can go by yourself and do some morning yoga. The beach is a great setting to practice mindfulness. You might notice the sound of the waves crashing or feel the grainy sand beneath your toes.
Outdoor activities can have positive effects on your mental and physical health. Spending time outside with nature can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. It can also mitigate mental health and substance use disorder symptoms. Restoration Recovery Centers values the role that outdoor activities can play in a person’s recovery. We offer outdoor activities such as paddle boarding, yoga, and hiking. Our mental health professionals can work with you to help you utilize the outdoors as a tool to boost your mood and reduce your anxiety. If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use, call (888) 290-0925 to learn how Restoration Recovery Centers can help you restore your life’s purpose and begin to heal from addiction.