How Do Activities Such as Surfing or Hiking Benefit my Recovery?


Professor Michael Baigent is a psychiatrist who sits on the board for Beyond Blue, an independent non-profit organization in Australia that works to address depression, anxiety disorders, and more. When it comes to surfing, he told the Huffington Post,

In an informal way, having an enjoyable activity, and something to look forward to that’s activating is extremely beneficial. We do know from research that for mild to moderate levels of depression, exercise can be beneficial.”

There’s no doubt that individuals in recovery from addiction and mental illness face a number of challenges, including depression, irritability, isolation, and more. If you’ve been considering a reputable treatment program that offers activities such as surfing and hiking, you may initially be thinking to yourself, “How does this speak to my addiction recovery directly?” The reality is that activities that get you moving and interacting with the world do much more than benefit your recovery – they boost your mind, body, and spirit.

Research has shown that exercise can boost recovery by reintroducing endorphins into your system, giving you pleasure, happiness, and satisfaction from a healthy activity rather than from substances. Exercise can also reduce stress while improving your outlook on life and leaving you feeling peaceful and rejuvenated.

Author Richard Louv discusses the benefits that being out nature can provide to recovery in his book titled, “The Nature Principle”. He explained that addiction disconnects people from their environment and shuts down their senses – everything they really need to enjoy life. Whether it’s constructing an urban garden, canoeing through a beautiful river or hiking up a tall mountain, our engagement with nature brings about unique healing qualities – such as finding a natural “high” in life. An activity that you partake in could become a new hobby, adding new purpose for your life and providing deeper meaning.

Nature therapy has become more popular in addiction recovery because of its ability to help individuals find passion and positivity while being “unplugged” from everything else they must focus on in life. There is a raw, vulnerable, and uncomfortable atmosphere connected with nature, and that often gives clients enough room to truly heal and transform. If you haven’t already, speak with a leader at your treatment center today about partaking in surfing, hiking, and other nature-centered activities that could be conducive to your healing and recovery.

Simple Recovery is a world-renowned, California state-licensed substance abuse recovery center. We offer dual diagnosis treatment, so if you are experiencing both substance abuse and symptoms of a mental disorder, call us today at 888-743-0490 so that we can work with you to restore your happiness, health, and well-being. You do not have to continue living this way; there are many people here ready to help you.