Rehabilitation and recovery

Nature can help you cope with pain and recovery 

Regardless of age or culture, mospeople find natural environments pleasing. Our positive connection to nature has evolved over millennia and helps to explain why spending time in nature improves our wellbeingAccess to nature and green spaces is linked to increased social interaction, physical activity, increased positive emotional state, reduced stress and fatigue and improved immune function.

 

Did you know that just viewing relaxing scenes of nature can boost your physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeingNature can also help you cope better with the stress of recovering from surgery, addiction, mental illness or dealing with pain.

 

Research has shown that surgical patients who have a view of trees from their hospital window heal faster, need less pain medication, sleep better, and have fewer complications than patients with a view of a brick wall. This is the reason most modern hospital designs incorporate views of gardens or trees and planting indoors where possibleViewing or spending time in gardens can reduce stress levels and promote a feeling of wellbeing. This calming effect is measurable and can play a significant role in helping you to heal. 

 

When you are feeling stressed, anxious, or fearful, your body produces a stress hormone called cortisol, which delays wound healing, meaning longer hospital stays and greater readmission rates. Nature can help counter this effect by reducing stress.  Nature increases feelings of happiness and wellbeing, reducing heart rate, blood pressure, muscle tension and production of stress hormones

Spending just 20 minutes in a place where you feel connected with nature will significantly lower your stress hormone levels.

A gentle walk or swim, or simply sitting in nature watching wildlife or picnicking with friends has wonderful effects on the mind and body that can help the healing process.

 

NB: This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Speak to your doctor before starting any new exercise program.

Activities to support rehabilitation and recovery

These are some ideas for activities that may help support your rehabilitation and recovery.
Two friends go for a swim in Lake Elusive in Croajingolong National Park.

Freshwater swimming

Take a cool, invigorating dip in fresh waterholes, streams and lakes. Be sure to observe safety signs and take caution when swimming in nature.
Two women in activewear follow a path through tall mountain ash trees.

Mindfulness walks in nature

The health benefits of spending time in nature are now widely accepted. Mindfulness walks take this a step further and help you slow down and focus on the present moment - each step, each breath – feeling calm and relaxed.
Three friends enjoy a picnic on the grass in front of the historic Wallace Hut.

Picnics

Head outdoors for lunch in the warmer months and enjoy a picnic in some of nature's most relaxing and inspiring settings.
Two women follow the path through scrub up Mt Bogong with mountain views in the distance.

Walking

Whether you’re after a gentle stroll or something long-distance, there are walking trails to suit all levels of fitness and ability.
Father and son bird watching on boardwalk

Bird watching

From bushland to wetlands and everything in between, parks provide habitat to an abundance of common and rare bird species. Go for a wander and see how many you can spot.

All-terrain wheelchairs

TrailRider all-terrain wheelchairs are available in a number of Victoria's, enabling visitors with limited mobility to access more rugged walking trails and sites.
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