When entering a treatment facility, most individuals expect to be introduced to treatments like medical detox, cognitive behavioral therapy, or group counseling, but may not expect a variety of alternative treatment options. Increasingly, high-quality addiction treatment centers are incorporating holistic living activities and alternative treatments for addiction due to the strong evidence that the treatments help the recovery journey. Sober living activities that incorporate physical elements support addiction management and long-term recovery.
Physical Activity Supports Recovery
According to the National Institutes of Health, studies have demonstrated that physical exercise can be effective for people suffering from substance abuse disorders. Exercise naturally alleviates stress, and stress is often a trigger for relapse. Physical sober living activities, such as backpacking or hiking, can also help positively alter the brain’s chemistry by causing it to release endorphins. These endorphins lead to feelings of happiness and satisfaction, which can also help keep relapse at bay.
Meditation in Motion
Restorative yoga is a popular alternative therapy used for addiction sufferers. Physical activity combined with meditation and the practice of mindfulness can support the recovery process. Backpacking can provide the same type of therapy that supports a sober lifestyle. Backpacking includes a physical component, but also the psychological one. During hiking, participates can merge the environment and physical activity to focus their mind on the present.
With less rumination and focus on negative emotions or thoughts, there is a better chance of preventing relapse. With the movement involved in backpacking, it can be easier to refocus thoughts. Living in the moment can be the key to helping cope with triggers in a healthy manner.
Physical Activity Has Long-Term Potential Benefits
Those who find physical activities, such as backpacking, to be therapeutic and beneficial to their mental and physical health don’t have to stop once they leave treatment. Continuing positive routines learned during treatment can lead to more successful outcomes. A physical activity like backpacking can be an ongoing, inexpensive, and healthy pastime. Individuals may enjoy hiking with a group of people who are in recovery like them.
Engaging in relationships and activities with a community that supports sobriety helps maintain ongoing health. For those who would prefer to avoid group sports, hiking may be a good alternative to address oncoming feelings of stress. Backpacking is popular in virtually every state, making it easy to find local trails. Traveling to state parks or national parks can also prove to be a healthy activity worthy investigating.
If you are suffering from a substance addiction, physical activities should play a role in your recovery process. Many sober living treatment centers have begun to offer backpacking activities, yoga, aerobics, and other activities that can support individuals as they learn to manage their condition. If you find that a physical activity has enhanced your recovery, it’s important to continue the practice in order to maintain a positive outlook and health. Talk to your recovery center about what physical activity might be best suited your lifestyle in order to incorporate it as a regular part of your life.