Today many of us have very sedentary lives. When we spend 6-8 hours sitting every day, we really need to create space for some sort of physical exercise in order to maintain our good health. It is not a secret that regular physical activity has many health benefits especially when it comes down to our cardio-vascular system. Perphaps more surprising is the fact that regular physical activity has also been proven to help reduce stress, anxiety and prevent some cases of depression. The overall feeling of well-being that regular aerobic exercise can bring in our lives provides us with a source of consistent recreation. Furthermore, when we’re outside our skin makes vitamin D which is a key component of our physical and mental health.
Of course we all know that it’s one thing be aware of the facts, but putting the theory into practice can be much harder. Throughout my life I have struggled to find the energy and motivation to exercise regularly. I had short periods where I managed to push myself through a couple of days, a week or a month at best of some sort of consistent physical activity, but I couldn’t develop the positive habit enough, so that it becomes an inseparable part of my daily activities. Usually, it was easier to make myself do strength exercises since they take less time and are generally more “fun” to perform. Doing long cardio workouts at home or at the gym was particularly annoying for me and I always discouraged myself from even starting. Getting myself out to a park was already a good step in the right direction as the somewhat natural setting, and the green decor fueled my motivation to get started . It wasn’t until I started doing long hikes in the forest that I found the place that suited me perfectly. Just being in the woods is already enjoyable and entertaining enough for me and by combining the forest and the exercice I stopped thinking about sport as a burden or as an obligation, but rather as a very high quality entertainment. Whether it is just a really long walk, running, jumping on a rope or even doing pushups on the trunk of a fallen tree, I find any sort of physical activity to be particularly more enjoyable and easier to carry out in the forest. Perhaps its just the company of the trees, but I would guess that the fresh air makes also makes a real difference when it comes down to performance and endurance.
In the warm months trees offer a great protection from the heat, and while the city is engulfed in dust and heat the forest remains cool and fresh. Even rain is not always an excuse for me not to go out, but when the weather is really too terrible I can stay at home and still find the motivation I need and do a workout. I don’t need to be at the forest every time that I do sport, but it is in the forest that I managed to develop a positive habit and I carry it with me even when I’m not there.