A nature trip can be one of the most rewarding and refreshing things a person can do. But, before you can embark on your next nature adventure, it is important to know how to prepare for it and stay safe while you are outdoors.
National Geographic explorer Sarah Marquis did just that in 2010, trekking ten thousand miles across the Gobi desert from Siberia to Australia alone on foot. Her journey is the inspiration for her new book, Wild by Nature.
1. Get Outdoors
Getting outside regularly is a great way to boost physical and mental health. Studies have shown that outdoor time can improve your immune system, increase productivity, and reduce stress.
It’s also a good idea to learn any new outdoor skills or sports with someone who can teach you, as it can be easier and less stressful to practice in a group. You can find classes at your local outdoor store or climbing gym, for instance.
Learning new outdoor skills is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s important to get comfortable with one new skill before adding on to it, or you may become overly tired and burn out before you can even start enjoying the benefits of the activity.
2. Practice Your Skills
One of the best ways to stay healthy is by getting plenty of exercise. It doesn’t have to be a gym membership or a long run; it can be as simple as walking around the block or doing a few chores around the house.
Aside from being the most efficient way to stay healthy, staying active is also a great way to boost your mood, improve your sleep, and increase your chances of living a long and happy life. The most important part is finding an activity you enjoy and sticking with it. You might even want to start a physical activity diary for yourself or your kids so you can keep track of it all in one place. You might even be surprised at how much better you feel after making a few small changes to your lifestyle.
3. Stay Active
Getting enough exercise is important for good health. It can help prevent many problems, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, back pain and osteoporosis.
Physical activity also helps you maintain a healthy weight, build strength and muscle, control blood sugar, improve sleep, and reduce stress. Regular, moderate-intensity activity for at least 150 minutes a week is recommended, and strength training two or more times a week is also beneficial.
It can be difficult to stay active when we’re busy with work, school or other commitments. However, it’s important to find small ways to fit in more physical activity throughout your day.
4. Connect with Nature
Whether you are walking through your local park or hiking deep into the forest, connecting with nature has been shown to improve health and well-being. Even a 15 minute session in nature has been shown to reduce stress, improve mood and decrease levels of the hormone cortisol!
In addition to all the health benefits associated with being in nature, many people also find it a great place to practice mindfulness. By slowing down and being present, you can learn how to be more aware of your emotions and reactions to different situations.
Nature is all around us, but it is often difficult to access in the middle of busy city life. This can make it difficult for some people to connect with nature and feel the benefits of spending time outside.
5. Be Mindful
Mindfulness is the ability to be present in the moment and not be preoccupied with thoughts or emotions that may arise. It improves your overall mental health and is a great way to relax and de-stress.
When you’re walking in the woods, observing your surroundings is a good way to practice mindfulness. Listen to the sounds of nature, breathe deeply, savour the smells and take in the sights.
The benefits of mindfulness are many and include improved physical health, such as reduced blood pressure and increased levels of sleep, as well as improving your mental health. It’s also a great way to build relationships with yourself and the world around you.