Nature as an Rx

I went for a power walk at the lake near my home. It was cold and damp after the low temps, cloudiness and rainfall of the past two days. I didn't really want to go but knew I needed to. So I did.

Somewhere between my pounding heart and burning gluts, I realized how much I crave this environment that naturally and simultaneously pushes my body to new heights, feeds my senses, clears my head, and calms my soul. It's the ultimate in stress reduction. And being present in nature opens the spirit to deep inner healing and inspiration. 

The peacefulness of the fog slowly lifting off the still lake, the beautiful carpet of bright green moss, the sweet aroma of randomly fallen trees, the rhythmic crunch of gravel beneath my feet, the silence of birds gliding effortlessly on the crisp air overhead, the energetic sound of water gushing through the dam, and the fresh scent of woods and earth stinging my nostrils are experiences absent at even the best of gyms, health clubs and fitness centers. 

So, I began thinking about why I don't come here regularly or exercise consistently. Ultimately, it comes down to:

FEAR. Not wanting to make the commitment to being physical. Even though my body screams (literally) to be fed in this way, I tend to live mostly in my head. 

LACK OF MOTIVATION. For me, this one comes from never having to be physical to maintain my health. For too long I've been 'getting by' on my good genes. Weight hasn't been an issue. Flexibility and mobility have been stellar. Stress has been manageable. Until now. Aging comes with a whole new set of rules.

PROCRASTINATION. Being too lazy to make physical fitness a part of my routine, always putting off exercise until 'tomorrow', distracting myself with non-essential tasks and convincing myself that taking care of self in one isolated area (like eating well) is good enough. 

COMPLACENCY. The lull of satisfaction with the status quo is probably the worst. The danger is that there can be serious consequences (actual dangers and deficiencies) that become unavoidable, even if one is unaware. Often I know know I'm settling but allow fear, lack of motivation and procrastination to paralyze me.

As a health coach, I know all too well how important regular movement, centering and stress reduction are to health and well-being. So here are 3 things I am doing to strengthen this part of my self care ...

  • I acknowledge that consistent fitness is a challenge for me
  • I am replacing excuses with action (read that: Just Do It)
  • I am working with a health coach for support and accountability

What are 3 things you know you could do for yourself today?