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Hiking for Your Recovery

Relaxed female hiker standing by the streamHere at Therapia, we offer experiential therapy activities in order to help our clients transform their lifestyles and participate in alternative forms of therapy, regardless of their personal level of physical fitness. Hiking is one of those very valuable activities that helps individuals build a wholesome lifestyle after addiction. Here is a look at how hiking can strengthen your recovery and why we include it as part of our comprehensive, gender based addiction recovery program.

Relieve and build resilience to stress.

Stress is one of the most common relapse triggers, and therefore it is highly important to develop stress management techniques when recovering from drug or alcohol addiction. Hiking is one exercise that can help you not only relieve stress and but also build your resilience to it. As with any form of cardio, hiking for at least 30 minutes causes your body to release endorphins; these endorphins, in turn, bring about feelings of euphoria and general well-being, resulting in decreased stress. In addition, when you first begin an arduous form of exercise, your body responds by releasing cortisol—the same hormone that is released when you are facing psychological stress. Engage in arduous exercise regularly, and your body will require more and more physical activity in order to trigger that same release in cortisol. Ultimately this means that the more you exercise, the more resilient to stress you will become.

Get exercise.

Hiking is a powerful form of cardio exercise, especially when you consider the steep inclines, uneven terrain, and extra weight of a backpack that are so often involved. In addition to offering stress relieving qualities, regular exercise can help your body heal more quickly after the effects of substance addiction. It can also help you become more toned and more physically fit, resulting in a stronger self-image. In addition, exercising regularly can help you cultivate a lifestyle that is centered around personal wellness, where you feel motivated to do wholesome things that will make your body feel stronger and healthier.

Cultivate a new lifestyle.

In recovery, it’s important to not only give up the addiction but also to replace the addiction with wholesome activities that will help you maintain your new lifestyle. Hiking is one activity that many recovering addicts choose to adopt into a new, sober lifestyle.

Strengthen team building skills.

Hiking is a great way to spend time with members of your support system and develop stronger team building skills. Through navigating tough terrain and natural obstacles together, you and your friends or loved ones can bond together and gain a stronger sense of what it is to navigate life’s challenges together.

Think without distraction.

Hiking allows you to spend plenty of time in nature, and nature happens to be the perfect environment for thinking without distraction. It is often in nature that people are able to think most deeply about issues that matter to them.