Bodies in Motion
Stay Healthy and Live Better with Outdoor Exercise
You want to stay healthy and live better, not just for yourself but for everyone who cares about you. Maintaining heart health requires regular exercise, proper diet and good lifestyle choices. Living in the Adirondacks is like having an immense playground at our doorstep.
Emerging science suggests there are greater physical, emotional and psychological benefits to exercising outdoors than working out on machines in a climate-controlled gym. One recent study showed that compared with exercising indoors, exercising in natural environments was associated with greater feelings of revitalization and positive engagement, decreases in tension, confusion, anger and depression, and increased energy.
Vis medicatrix naturae, the healing power of nature, was first attributed to Hippocrates. Nearly a century ago, famed biologist Sir John Arthur Thomson offered another interpretation of nature as the non-built physical environment in which humans live their lives, i.e. forests, lakes and relatively untouched wilderness areas. It was Thomson’s contention that time spent in the natural environment had a direct correlation to mental and physical vitality.
Today we are seeing an epic displacement of green time with screen time. More screen-based entertainment – computers, televisions, video-games, smartphones – is contributing to a decline in nature-based recreation. FoMO Disorder, a ‘fear of missing out’ on social interactions, experiences or events others may be having, is a compulsive connection to social networking (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). This increasing reliance and engagement with electronic devices is resulting in less physical activity and greater incidence of mental and physical health problems.
We in the Adirondack Park are so lucky to live in an unspoiled natural environment, where fresh air is abundant, the water is clean and nature is just outside the door. Here are five perks for getting outside that you just won’t get from a gym or a screen:
1. It’s good for your body; you’ll burn more calories and build muscle
2. You’ll feel better about yourself; nature increases brain function and makes us happy
3. Soak up the sunshine and take in some Vitamin D3
4. Spending time in nature reduces stress; reduced stress = better health
5. It’s FREE!
So whether you’re heading into the water for a row or a swim, a hike, bike or simply enjoying a walk, a body in motion stays in motion. Read more below about Biking in Adirondack from ESSLA member Mike Purdy. Get out there and breathe in the wholeness of nature!