Happy New Year! We've all heard the tradition of making resolutions at the beginning of a new year. If you're like most of us, you've already set a goal or goals to achieve something specifically over the coming year. It could be to be healthier physically. Perhaps you want to be less stressed or more creative. Maybe you want to spend more time with family or friends or try something new. The great thing is spending time with Mother Nature has the ability to help you reach some of your New Year’s resolutions! Let's take a closer look.
If one of your resolutions is to lose weight or to get in better shape, get outside to make it happen. There are an endless number of activities you can do year-round to build those muscles, increase your endurance, and lose that unwanted weight. Many of these activities you can do right from your backdoor while others may take you to beautiful places where adventure abounds.
We are blessed in Minnesota and Wisconsin with an abundance of parks, trails, rivers, and lakes that are perfect places for burning calories and reducing the boredom that can come with exercising indoors at a gym. Studies have also stated being outside can lower your risk for diabetes, heart attacks, and colon cancer by at least 30%.
|Activity||Calories Burned / Hour*|
|Golf (carrying clubs)||
|Running (9 min/mile)||762|
|Snowshoeing (deep snow)||726|
* Calories calculated for 150 lbs person using calculator at http://www.acaloriecalculator.com/calories-burned-calculator/
Study after study have shown spending time outside has many great cognitive and health benefits. It increases creativity, curiosity, and problem solving abilities. There is also evidence that it can reduce anxiety and depression, decrease stress, and increase energy. I've ready several studies on how the outdoors reduces the symptoms of A.D.D.
What's interesting, if you look at the research, is that receiving these benefits doesn't require being outside for long periods of time. Just fifteen minutes out in Mother Nature will yield great rewards so don't skip that afternoon walk.
Do you have a resolution to spend more time with your friends and family? Are you looking to build better relationships with clients and coworkers? If so, spending time with them outside is a great option. Sharing outdoor experiences with others allows you to be focused and engaged with each other. It spurs conversations that otherwise may never happen. It requires you to unplug from the electronic world and interact directly with people. There's nothing like the bond created from accomplishing something with others that was fun, hard, risky, or new. These shared expereiences are the memories that will last a lifetime.
It's great to set personal goals for yourself and the coming of the new year is a good catalyst to make you pause and think about them. There are countless benefits of being outside and spending that time with others. Therefore, when you're defining how you will achieve these goals, look to Mother Nature for an answer and you may achieve even more than you were expecting.
We'd love to help you reach your goals. If you're looking for activities or inspiration for you or your group, please contact us.
What advice do you have or what have you done in the outdoors to improve your life and wellbeing?