When I walk into an outdoor store I wish that I it all. I wish that I camped every weekend, hiked mountains, had a favourite fishing hole, did a little hunting to put healthy venison and moose in my freezer, ran marathons each month, travelled with backpacks on my back again…you get the picture.
Today with some much going on it can be hard to find time to actually get outside, but is it really?
Most of us have a lunch break, so why not be one of the downtown sneaker wearers? We don’t need to walk quickly, we don’t want to sweat before our 2 pm meeting but heck, we could go for a nice relaxing stroll. The difficulty in getting outside is actually in our heads and our heads or more specifically, our brains benefit the most from the outdoors,
Getting outside and being in nature is a luxury that our body’s need and that we should be using. Our brains are not wired to be inside sitting all day long. A simple 30 minute walk increases our feel good hormones and reduces our inflammation causing hormones. Inflammation causes heart disease and cancer and a walk a day is as good as an apple a day.
A walk a day is as good as an apple a day!
Walking not only helps balance our hormones, it reduces stress. Stress is felt from outside forces when we’re busy but stress also comes from the inside out. When we lower our cortisol and adrenaline hormones, those pesky inflammation hormones, we lower our stress hormone cortisol. High levels of cortisol increase our risk for heart attack and stroke so it’s an important hormone to counter balance with our feel good walking hormones.
Movement whether it’s gardening, mowing the lawn, swimming outside, running, biking or hiking all support our body. The act of moving keeps our heart strong and healthy by actually using it properly. It even moves liquids and helps our digestive system work more efficiently and keeps our brain sharp.
If keeping my brain sharp and lowering cortisol is as easy as walking the dog or playing soccer with the kids in the backyard, it’s time to get outside more and build a new habit to add to our healthy lifestyles.