This past January, a group of staff and clients from The Heads Up! Program visited Little Cataraqui Creek Conservation Area to enjoy a day of snowshoeing and connecting with nature. The outing was intended to help clients better understand the connection between mind and body health, as well as introducing new skills and ideas for how to creatively incorporate physical activity into their recovery.
With winter in full swing, the Heads Up! team wanted to encourage active living in the snowier months. Welcoming anyone who showed an interest in participating in outdoor activities, a group of eight made their way out to the conservation area on January 31. Sue Streight was one of the three staff who coordinated and attended the outing. “We rented our snowshoes from an outdoors store just steps from the hospital and then drove out to the conservation area where there were trails to walk on with lots of snow and chickadees to feed.”
The experience of snowshoeing in the woods offered clients an opportunity to work on metabolic issues in a non-traditional way. Not surprisingly, the benefits of a day spent snowshoeing were not purely physical. In addition to fostering a healthy sense of community within the program’s clients and staff, Sue was struck by how focusing on physical activity and nature allowed clients to take a break from their usual mental load. “While clients were walking in the woods, they became aware of sights and sounds that were external to themselves. They experienced that getting active and focusing on the physical activity of their body, can often ease or decrease the rumination of the mind.”
Kudos to the team at Heads Up! for making the most of cold Ontario winters and jumping in feet first.
For more information on this initiative, please contact:
Susan Streight, Susan.Streight@kingstonhsc.ca
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