At online Pilates course Body Beyond Birth, we talk a lot about resistance exercise. We’ve introduced ideas around playing with the kids for exercise. We talk about housework as a way to incorporate some additional stretches. And now, we’re going to tell you about why nature is a great inclusion to your exercise regime.
Here’s why nature, health and exercise are great mates – and why you should make it an accompaniment to your online Pilates course adventure!
The natural inclination to explore gets us moving
Walking might seem like a chore each day, especially if you spend a lot of time chasing kids and/or standing on your feet at work. But walking is great health for us and is a good source of additional exercise.
It might not seem like fun at the outset, but if you set goals, it can be a great way to get a dose of nature as well as increase you movement. From walking around the neighbourhood or local park through to bushwalking, we love to explore the surroundings. So why not take advantage of that?
You can start with something small such as walking the kids to school or daycare. Why not increase that to include streets you don’t usually visit? Take it up a notch with walking to the local green spaces in your neighbourhood such as parks, reserves and gardens.
Why not set a mission to help get the exploring juices flowing?
Here are some ideas that might help encourage you to enjoy walks in the early stages:
- Check out the houses in the neighbourhood and compare notes
- Look for cuttings from gardens in the neighbourhood for your own
- Consider joining the pop up library movement and restocking the libraries in your area with books on a regular basis
- Make friends with elderly people in your local neighbourhood and bring small grocery items on a regular basis
- Set yourself goals with laps around the block or extending kilometres each month to compete with yourself to walk further and further
- Get the kids involved- and the family dog, too!
- Repeat your walks with family bicycle rides
Walking is a great way to spend time in nature exploring, observe things you may not see as you rush past in the car and help you feel connected to your community all at the same time. That’s why it’s a brilliant, low level way to add extra exercise to your online Pilates course.
Sunshine is your friend
As women, we need to be especially mindful of our vitamin D intake. Vitamin D helps fight against osteoporosis, cancer and depression. Keeping our bones and muscles healthy as well as our minds with a regular dose of Vitamin D is a great thing to do. It’s also far better to exercise in the sun with the appropriate sun protection than it is to risk sun cancer through sunbaking and tanning.
Speaking of depression, we’ve all spent that time in the sunshine when we’ve come away feeling happier for it. That’s because natural light, Vitamin D and even the colour yellow produce a happier, more productive person. Spending time outdoors allows us to enjoy natural light, sunshine and the breeze on our face. This all helps lift mood.
When we’re feeling stressed, overwhelmed and depressed, the natural inclination may be to curl up on the couch and block out the world. But even 30 minutes in the sunshine can help lift our mood when we spend time focussing on the greenery instead our electronic devices. Researchers from Brisbane found that 9% of people with depression would benefit markedly from spending half an hour in a leafy space each week, especially if they live in urban environments.
The beautiful thing about the Body Beyond Birth online Pilates course is that you can grab us on the tablet and take you outdoors with us.
So the next time you feel as though there’s too much to do or too much going on in your head, give it a try! It might even be the perfect opportunity to try a few stretches in the backyard or at the local park.
Our minds love the water
If you are thinking of popping your iPad into your laptop and taking Body Beyond Birth for a beach, lake or river visit, please do! We share an amazing connection to water that harks back to days in the womb where we felt snug in the uterus. Water is soothing for body and mind as we return to that deep feeling of everything being OK.
We’re thrown into an awe reaction when we view water for example that helps us feel connected and relaxed. This awe state can be a very natural and wonderful state of mindfulness and connection. It can also make us feel connected to a bigger picture and move us away from focusing on the micro issues within life.
Going for a swim can also help you out. Not only is swimming great fitness, swimming can help our bodies through contact with water as well. Hot springs for example can help with tired, stressed and strained muscles as well as relax a tension filled body. Cold water can invigorate you and help you kick away from tiredness and lethargy, making it ideal for tired mothers.
And the crashing of waves at the ocean can help produce a state of meditation that can clear our minds.
This is why we love visiting the beach, seaside and lakes in Australia. The beauty of the landscape influences us on a deep level.
A couple of things you can try while at the water:
- Experiment with walking against the tide as a form of resistance exercise
- Use the water to stretch, kick and move in a weightless environment, which is ideal for times when you may be recovering from injury and/or more sore or tired than usual
- Activate tired, sleepless minds with a swim in cool waters
- Soothe aching muscles with hot springs
- Swim a few laps in an ocean pool and feel the difference with extra exercise
- Fire up the iPad and look out towards the water while getting your 20 minutes of online Pilates course done for the day
Nature and exercise is a winning combination
Not only is nature beautiful, it can help inspire us to exercise and look after our physical and mental health in the process. While parenting may see us spending a lot of time indoors, it’s super important to make time to commune with nature on a regular basis.
Even setting aside 30 minutes a week can vastly improve your Vitamin D levels as well as your health and mood. That’s just one outdoor session of online Pilates course Body Beyond Birth and a little scenery appreciation once a week.
So what are you waiting for? Get to nature today!