As I feel the fresh grass of my local community allotment cushion my bare feet, I take a deep breath and balance into a tree pose, I feel invigorated… this is a new yet anchoring experience as I leave the stress of the small screen with all the digital noise firing out my phone polluting my senses.
As a city dwelling career girl, I never imagined I would be here plugged into the earth with my bare feet but even just grounding myself outdoors can have therapeutic effects for our mind and body. I have rarely been still enough to experience this supercharge of electrical energy and the mood-boosting impact fresh air can have. There’s no wonder, more of us are appreciating the outdoors and walking more since the Pandemic hit.
Yet when I turned 30, three years ago, an age at which people tend to decline in their wellbeing due to family, work and life commitments, I instead have been learning the art of slowing down and tuning myself into the outdoors.
I love the power which technology can have on our lives in learning new mind and body fitness skills, connecting with others. I often find social media dulls my brain to the point it has triggered dips in my own mental wellbeing, surging stress levels and unhealthy habits.
I decided however to challenge my anxiety with outdoor pursuits from Tough Mudder to Go Ape, from charity abseils and runs to trekking up Scafell Pike, I have been transformed by getting out of my home and head and into my body by being anchored into the outdoors world. It was thanks to my step dad Lee’s intrepid nature and attitude to joining me on my pursuits that I have continued my ‘unlikely adventurer’ status, proving that all ages and abilities can enjoy the beauty of exploring nature.
The outdoors is a valid form of therapy to boost our wellbeing, full mind and body fitness, with profound results helping you to achieve peak performance levels in all aspects of life. It is as easy for a doctor to prescribe nature as it is a reactive clinical treatment, which is part of the social prescribing movement.
Prescribing nature sounds clinical in itself but it’s as natural as human and environmental evolution.
Even just a short walk to your allotment or gardening can boost your self-esteem, lower cortisol levels (the stress hormone which can cause a surge in blood pressure and body fat) as well as improving sleep. 30 minutes of gardening on an allotment can burn around 150 calories, the same as doing low impact aerobics.
The more we connect to nature too, the better we treat the environment and the less pollution there is which is also good news for our brain cognition and physical health.
“Slow down enough to take real control, slow down.”
Rather than feeling intoxicated and trapped inside the snow globe of the small world we create in the palm of hands with our phones, we can have our biggest breakthroughs on a free walk by taking deep breaths and being mindful.
Did you know?
Your exercise and training regime should be different as you age. Our 20s tend to be our peak in fitness, whereas in our 30s we have to deal with more stress and our body tends to change again, then in our 40s we have to really start to make adjustments if you want to remain injury free.
Your core foundation and posture is important to maintain regardless of your age and can stand you in good stead throughout your life. So, try Yoga, Pilates or even Bellydancing!
Not only are more of us working out from home than ever before, or vowing to get fit, but it is proven that good workout clothing can help performance. Not to mention your motivation levels when you can work, move and go out in our special collection
Tip: “Set your activewear out before you go to bed so you can jump into it as soon as you get up.”
Tip: “Or bring your gym kit with you,,, Wear your gym kit so that when it comes to that lunchtime class, you can just pop your jumper off and go. On those days you do not feel like it, just get dressed in your kit. After a few minutes of sitting in your kit you then just think, aww I might as well do like 15 minutes, before you know it you are in the swing of things and may just even do the whole workout!”
Don’t compare Before and After photos or any photos!
Ever felt a pang of envy as you scroll past someone’s honed physique online or even your friend’s before and after weight loss photo… just how did they do it? If you’re struggling with losing or gaining weight, we can become debilitated into taking action by an online stream of whatever we deem ‘perfection.’
Some may think the huge muscles of a body-builder is desirable whereas others may want that lean look… none of that really matters and those photos aren’t always as they seem anyway.
1.) Decline push ups x10
2.) Reverse grip Pull ups x max reps
3.) Single leg chair squat x10 (each leg)
Repeat as many rounds as you can in 10 minutes.
(Full body) (Chair required)
1.) Incline press ups x10
2.) Back foot elevated split squats x10 (each leg)
3.) Hip bridges x10
4.) Chair dips x10
Repeat as many rounds as you can in 10 minutes.
Follow @greenhealthPT and @thesparklecoach for more body workouts.