Did you know that 'loose weight' or 'get in shape' was the second most common New Year's Resolution for 2018 among Americans surveyed? Was that your New Year's resolution? How are you doing so far?
Hopefully you are doing great, already achieving some of the short-term goals you set up for yourself. Maybe you are looking for a few more tips or motivation to strive forward.
Others of us may not be doing so well. After the holidays it is easy to fall back into our old routines despite the good intentions we had for this year. Perhaps we joined a gym, went everyday the first week, but only once last week. Many people end up quitting the gym siting time constraints, expenses, the commute and dislike for the gym atmosphere as reasons.
Walking in nature may be just the answer you're looking for! No drive required, just walk out your front door. Nature's dress policy is come as you are. No fancy workout clothes needed. It's free and there are no screaming television screens vying for your attention. You can do it for ten minutes, a half an hour or walk all day around a city or park. An added benefit, exposure to nature results in seven hours of feel good hormones in your body.
Research has found that exercising outdoors has been found to have a more positive impact on the affect and exercise adherence of post-menopausal women. There were similar findings in another study comparing indoor treadmill walking with outdoor walking in obese women. In addition, this study found that walking outdoors improved mood, participants found it more enjoyable, and their perceived exertion was less. Social interaction is greater in outdoor exercise versus exercising indoors. This finding was also linked with a higher intention to exercise in the future.
Does this information resonate with you? Have you ever noticed that when you walk with a friend, you may be so busy chatting that you may complete a hike in what felt like no time at all? How about when you walk along the beach and find that your mind was so soothed by the rhythmic sounds of the waves that you found yourself miles away from your starting point. Perhaps you even turned around and wondered if you had enough energy to make it back to your towel!
So, are you ready to add more outdoor activity in nature to your wellness plan? I can guarantee you won't see scenes like this at your local gym or on your couch.
More great posts by freelance healthcare writers on this topic can be found on the Healthcare Marketing Network blog.
Looking for more ways nature can enhance your health and well-being? Subscribe to this blog, Susan's monthly newsletter or her social media channels @TheNatureNurse . Be well!