When people think about some of the best therapy options for addiction, they don’t typically think about hiking therapy. However, hiking is an essential holistic treatment option for those who abuse drugs. The real question is how hiking helps. Better yet, how can wilderness therapy programs help with preventing relapse?
What Is Hiking Therapy?
As the name implies, this is a type of therapy that involves going on an outdoor hike. Some people even refer to it as outdoor or adventure therapy. While hiking therapy falls under adventure therapy, not all adventure therapy programs include hiking.
In general, most rehab centers don’t just offer outdoors therapy alone. Usually, they incorporate it into a program that also includes traditional therapies. As a result, most therapists don’t view hiking as a stand-alone treatment. Instead, it makes for a great complementary addiction recovery service.
What Are the Benefits of Hiking for People in Rehab?
Believe it or not, hiking offers many benefits for the mind, body, and soul. It’s the reason that it fits perfectly into the holistic category of treatment. What are the actual benefits of hiking, though?
First and foremost, hiking gets people outside. Being outdoors in the sun and fresh air lowers stress levels. It also clears and soothes the mind. In fact, the soothing aspect helps people open up in traditional counseling.
Also, hiking is a good form of physical exercise. Studies show that the body releases endorphins during physical activity. These endorphins not only improve overall mood but also act as a natural pain reliever. As a result, the release of endorphins can help people who are unable to use pain medications because of addiction.
In addition, hiking therapy opens the door to new hobbies. Developing hobbies is key to avoiding relapse after rehab. When people have more free time, they tend to think about using drugs. Filling this free time with a hobby such as hiking prevents the mind from heading in that direction.
Tips for Hiking
For people who want to try hiking therapy, they should know a few things. Firstly, it’s important to start slow. In rehab, they’ll learn how to build up to hiking. The first hike shouldn’t be a long distance or up to a steep slope.
Next, it’s always best to go hiking with a buddy. In fact, all outdoors therapy works best in pairs. It provides not only safety if something happens but also time to bond. As a matter of fact, the majority of addiction treatment programs work best in a group setting.
Don’t Wait to Get Help for Your Addiction
At Red Oak Recovery®, we provide addiction therapy services for young adults. We strive to offer programs that meet the needs of not only men but also women. Our goal is to create custom programs that address the individual concerns of our clients. A few of the programs that we offer include:
- Gender-specific rehab
- Dual diagnosis treatment
- Residential rehab
- Outpatient treatment