What is Recreational Therapy? Remember decades ago when we would constantly see friends and family members playing outside and being really active on a daily basis? The modern child and adolescent is not spending even remotely close to the same amount of time outdoors, going back 15, 20 or 30 years. Our reliance on technology, while understandably desirable and undoubtedly helpful in so many ways, has its drawbacks. Many adolescents and children are growing up within environments that are focused around video games, computers, tablets and various forms of digital entertainment. It is rare to see groups of kids playing together outside, or at least far less common than we have been used to seeing in the past.
Exercise is an extremely important part of each child’s development, and should be integrated in their lives as much as possible. We don’t think about it as often as we should, which is a problem in this day and age, as exercise and recreational therapy provide numerous benefits. Learning to stay fit from a young age can make a positive impact on their life, for their entire life. Learning from the ground up about the physical benefits, the mental benefits and their overall health means that they will likely take what they learn to heart and apply it as they age.
From the standpoint of mental health and its direct benefit towards improving a child’s psyche, you may often see mental health facilities and practitioners utilize aspects of art, active playing, sports and music to help assist children and adolescents as they progress through their particular set of mental or behavioral health problems. These types of activities can ultimately create a useful outlet for one’s socialization skills, as well as relaxation. Recreational therapy and exercise can assist the scope of a mental health diagnosis by working jointly with any other programs, therapies and methods recommended by a mental health specialist.
Physical Activity Benefits
- Strengthening the heart, as it is a muscle and requires exercise just as much as any other muscle within the body
- Reducing overall blood sugar levels, as well as helping to reduce the chance of diabetes
- Exercising regularly can also help to strengthen the bones in the body by increasing the bone density, which can reduce the chances of developing osteoporosis.
- Improving one’s energy levels; if you’ve ever gone for a run, you often feel invigorated after regaining your breath.
- It can help improve one’s mindset, mental health and overall mental well-being
Goal of Therapy
The overall goal with recreational therapy is to help alleviate certain symptoms that can be negatively affected by a lack of outside stimuli, and physical activity does its job very well from that perspective. While many mental health challenges can’t be beat simply by engaging in just physical activity alone, it is an excellent tool when used in conjunction with various other therapies for adolescents and children.
Our team at SBC Raleigh has a very strong passion when it comes to providing some of the highest-quality mental health services for adolescents in the Raleigh, NC region. If you know a child from the age of 12-17, such as your own son or daughter, and feel they could benefit from various types of mental health and recreational therapy, contact us today at 855-537-2262 for a completely free and confidential evaluation.