Find a place to train that takes your breath away…
Exercising in nature is the best! It has a calming and balancing effect on our senses that brings us back to the essence of who we are. When exercising to reduce or alleviate stress it is important that we make our exercise sessions as pleasurable as they can be. It is possible for your workout to take your breath away in more ways than one.
Here’s how, find a place in nature that you find beautiful, peaceful, joyous, serene, invigorating or exciting – and exercise there. You may be OK with pounding away on a treadmill, and you may even get the physical results you desire, but exercising in nature provides results and so much more.
Firstly, the fresh air will do wonders for your mind and your body. You can feel free to breathe deep into your lungs, allowing FRESH oxygen to penetrate the cells rather than the polluted, recycled air we breathe in in our closed-windowed, air-conditioned modern lifestyles (my breath got shallow just writing that sentence). The air we breathe directly effects the way our cells function and replicate. The healthier the air we breathe in, the healthier our cells. The healthier our cells the better our bodies and minds function. Doesn’t it make sense then, to provide them with the best possible air-supply we can? Most of us spend so much time indoors – due to our work, our commutes and our domestic responsibilities – that we really should take any chance we get to balance it out. Don’t make exercise another thing that you do in doors, at least not ALL the time. It’s so easy and pleasurable to take it out side, so I say treat your body with fresh air that rejuvenates and ignites it every chance you get.
Secondly, when you find somewhere to exercise that you find beautiful you can allow your mind to marvel at the magic of nature rather than focusing on the challenge you are experiencing on a physical level. In this way your exercise becomes a form of a meditation. Your senses are calmed as your lungs soak in smooth breaths of fresh air. Your eyes inhale the depth of the blue skies and and the strength of the white waves rolling in upon inviting sands. Your ears are lulled by the hum of the ocean and your heart is warmed by the sounds of life and laughter ringing through the air. Attuning your senses to what surrounds you, stills your mind of other worries and stresses. You let go of that which teases and taunts you in every other minute of the day and you become present in the magic of now. You enjoy the moment – and in that moment you can relax and know that you are OK.
Thirdly, and by no means lastly, exercising in breath taking natural surrounds can be fun and playful. We can share it with friends and loved ones. In playing we find elation and joy and forget about our concerns for a little while – the after effects of that can be a wonderful change in perspective. Feelings of freedom. A happier heart. Our options for play are endless – running, swimming, surfing, paddle boarding, horse-riding, skate-boarding, snow-boarding, hiking, rock-climbing, water-skiing, golf, kayaking, sky diving – all you need to do is find what it is that makes your heart sing and do that. If you don’t know what makes your heart sing, experiment. You’ll soon find out what you love and what you don’t. Nature provides all kinds of platforms on which we can explore and play and it is often amongst the earths’ diversity and beauty, that we find our own.
One of my favourite breath taking places to exercise is the Cremorne Foreshore in Sydney’s North… Check it out here