10,000 steps a day keeps the doctor away you say? Most will be traumatised by the mere thought of such a grand task, however it is much easier to achieve than you think. Especially when surrounded in the presence of nature. Staring at your step counter on your watch or your phone as you count each foot step tentatively, varifying whether or not your device is missing a step or two can make your task even more hopeless. Nature provides that escapism required and achieving your goal becomes less of a chore but more of a pleasure and something that will be looked towards. This article explores the beauty of walking in nature.
A Breath of Fresh Air
Enclosed within the protective covering of nature something special happens. Man and nature become one. Flower, trees, plants treat us with aromatherapy as their scents calms us down with distant memories of childhood and trees give us the gift oxygen as a by product of their respiration. Lavender a commonly known plant can help reduce anxiety whilst other scents from flowering plants can have beneficial affects on the human body.
The green space occupied by nature unless directly manipulated by man makes it unsuitable for cars and other pollutants to easily travel across its plane. This allows limited access and space for pollutants to travel across green forests areas thus keeping protecting the area from harm. In Japan it is popular for people to be prescribed forest walking from there doctor.
Walking on the Tread-hill
Walking in nature is much better than walking on a treadmill, in a humid gym with inadequate modes of ventilation. In nature there is no need to adjust the gradient, nor the speed, and there is definitely no need to turn on the minute fan system that the treadmill provide. In nature you the elements to naturally control these elements in your favour. The wide paths, the slopes on the hills, the log you have to hop over provides a more exciting course for you.
The living forest
Whilst walking within nature if we are observant enough we can learn much about ourselves and our environment. Nature is like a living museum where we can find and observe interesting things. In 2019 we now have a better understanding that plant life, to the extent of our own awareness is living, talking and moving in relationship to the environment around it. Everything within nature is living.
The variety of life that can be observed in natures pockets demonstrates versatility of different organisms which have learnt to adapt its environment. We can see that different animals share a common ancestor and life grows and evolve from within its self.
Bear foot walking
Although I would not recommend this due to the many rubbish which is making its way into natures space and our soft feet compared to people who walk without shoes in other parts of the world, sometimes taking off your shoes provide us with a better sense of grounding as there is no barriers to absorb some of the energy from the ground. Bear-foot walkers report better foot strength and feeling more energised.
The dog walkers
I have never actually owned a dog myself and don’t plan to do so in the near future but without a shadow of a doubt dog walkers are one of the most active groups in the UK population. Unlike the rest of us who have found short cuts to remain as inactive as long as possible, a dogs has a shorter life span and complication arises much sooner without adequate exercise as dogs are less able to deal with stress compared to human beings. This forces dog walkers into action. They understand that putting off walking the dog is simply not an options and you can generally find them out and about on an early morning walking their best friend.
So you know the benefits of walking in nature, the fresh air, the exercise and building up a relationship with the living forest. The only question to ask is, what are you waiting for?
Physiotherapist at Physiofriend