Outdoor Activities for Recovery


Man looking out on nature

Here at Renaissance Ranch, we understand that it takes more than talking to restore mental, spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being.

 

Sometimes it takes a hearty dose of nature.

 

Of late, numerous studies are confirming what we’ve always known innately: time spent in nature is good for you. And the many benefits of nature can significantly aid in a patient’s recovery. That’s why we incorporate plenty of opportunities for patients to get outside and participate in activities ranging from personal study to outdoor sports.

 

Nature Boosts Mood and Counteracts Depression

 

Humans are naturally inclined to be interested in, and drawn to nature. Leafy green catches our eye, and the lines and patterns of branches, flowers, and grass invite us to observe. Nature gets us outside of ourselves, and distracts us with the quiet cycles of the season. This may be why a walk in nature mutes the area of our brain that deals with self-reprimanding thought patterns. Being in nature, or even seeing pictures of nature, can reduce stress, anger, and fear.

 

Nature Improves Health

 

Time spent in nature can also contribute to physical health. Exposure to sunlight resets circadian rhythms, and give us a good night’s sleep (which can be a rare thing for patients struggling to overcome addiction and withdrawal).

 

Time spent outside encourages physical activity. Often, while we’re outside, we exercise without even noticing it. Studies have found that seniors in walking distance to public parks and green spaces live longer, and access to fresh air reduces our risk of respiratory illness, hypertension, and diabetes.

 

A healthier body means a mind more able to heal and recover.

 

Inspires Gratitude and Connection with God

 

Our spiritually centered program believes that the essential ingredient to anyone’s recovery is the hope found through a relationship with God. Time spent in nature allows us to recognize and appreciate God’s creations, and inspires gratitude for the beauty that surrounds us. In ancient times, prophets retreated to the mountains or the wilderness to commune with God. We believe that quiet pondering in nature can awaken the spirit, heart, and mind. It gives us the opportunity for important lessons and reflections to sink into our hearts, evoking a change that endures once our time in a professional recovery plan is over.