Daily Physical Exercise
One of the most obvious benefits of an Outdoor Behavioral Health program is the physical exercise that is inherent in outdoor living. There is no fast food, no convenience stores. Everything we do takes effort, and increases our physical fitness and overall wellness.
Trekking is Cool
Trekking multiple miles a day, carrying our home, so to speak, on our backs develops muscles, trims waistlines, and increases physical endurance and aerobic capacity. We carry our tents, our sleeping bags, our food and cooking equipment, as well as clothing and safety equipment. At 10,000+ feet elevation, our student’s bodies have to maximize their capacity to supply oxygen, and as a result, when they come back down to lower climes, their bodies have the ability to walk longer, run faster, and lift heavier than ever before. In the winter, when we are in the base camp model, we still spend a good part of each day doing physical activities: snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, sawing and chopping wood, etc.
Each student sets goals in five areas that make a balanced person, and the physical domain is one of those. So in each Passage the student sets personal physical goals. Near the end of the program, they make physical goals for when they move onto the next phase of their lives… goals to maintain a healthy lifestyle for the rest of their lives.
Menus: The Journey Wilderness emphasized simple, tasty, and healthy foods. Students are instructed how to cook over wilderness cookers and the open fire and then cook all their own meals, so menus tend to be simple and easy to prepare. Many foods are dehydrated to make them lighter to carry. We maintain high nutritional value for every meal, using mostly organic, locally cultivated ingredients.
Here are some sample menus:
Breakfast: Eggs, Bacon, Pancake, Orange, and Strawberries
Lunch: Organic Peanut Butter and Raspberry Preserve Sandwich, apples
Dinner: Dutch Oven 40-Mile Stew, Biscuits, Green Salad
Breakfast: Granola, Powdered Milk, Dried Fruit
Lunch: Tortilla, Cheese, Spam
Dinner: Tortellini Casserole, Biscuits
Picture the cleanest air on the planet… top of the mountains… far away from any cities or smog. Just breathing the air around Spirit Lake is a healing and healthful experience.
The process of outdoor living does mean we need to ignore basic hygiene. We believe that personal hygiene is essential to being healthy, that cleanliness and wellness are connected. To that end, we provide the means for our clients to maintain a standard of cleanliness and decorum.
Meditation and Mindfulness:
As a part of our curriculum, the students are taught mindfulness and meditation techniques. Grounding and meditation are essential to the growth and healing process and so the students are given the opportunity to meditate or complete mindfulness activities every day and track their progress in a Mindfulness Journal.