Did you know that the average American walks 1.2 miles a week? That’s right, not a day but a week. Think about it. An individual wakes up in the morning and gets ready for work walking around their house. They walk out to their car that is parked as close as possible to save time. They drive to work and get the closest possible parking spot to the front door. Take an elevator to their office and sit down at a desk for hours. Take the elevator down to the cafeteria and reverse the same order coming home. When they get home it is leisure and relaxation with the remote control and the 52” flat screen television watching some kind of reality TV or sports events.
All seriousness, this is an extremely disturbing statistic that confirms the fact the United States has become a lazy society as a whole. Not that you and I are lazy, but in international eyes, we are considered to be football watching couch potatoes. When I was on my 130 mile hike on the Appalachian Trail; I bumped into two international thru-hikers. There was one from Japan and one from Norway. They both said that their perception of Americans are exactly what I stated above, football watching beer drinking lazy couch potatoes. They were both impressed with the Americans that they met on the AT because they quickly realized that we were fast and in good shape. (They had an ah-ha experience)
Four benefits of getting outside in nature
- Hiking is a great form of exercise: Hiking could be as strenuous as you make it. I remember taking Empowered Mastery’s Nick Palumbo and his wife up a fairly advanced hike with Nick being shocked on how challenging the hike was. Since then they have hiked numerous times with my wife and I. In fact, the four of us hiked in Yosemite Valley to benefit the Leukemia Lymphoma Society.
- It is exactly what the doctor ordered: Would you believe that there is a prescription that doctors will subscribe to patients called “nature prescriptions” or “ecotherapy”. According to an article by Carol Sorgen in WebMD, doctors are now prescribing these so-called “nature prescriptions” to battle an array of medical conditions such as post-cancer fatigue, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and even ADHD.
- We were made to be outdoors: Many people has lost site on the fact that natural environment is we are meant to be in. Humans as a species are hunters and gatherers by nature, not to be stuck in a cage (office) for twelve hours a day. We need to be outside, to breathe in the fresh air, connect with our natural self and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us.
- You get to disconnect: Do you have stress? I am sure you do. We all have a challenge that we are overcoming or pressure of some sort. There is no better way to manage that pressure then a walk in the woods. It allows your mind to flow freely and the solutions to your challenges seem to come to you. Why is that? Because you are in your natural environment and the energy allows to flow to and through you easily and effortlessly. It is one of the greatest forms of active meditation you could do.
In closing, one time hiking a section of the Appalachian trail with my brother we met a woman who was in her high 50’s low 60’s, about 5 foot tall, and probably weighed about 110 pounds. She was carrying a 40 pound pack on her back and thru-hiking the 2160 miles on the Appalachian Trail. She said that she didn’t know why but she needed to do this. She explained to my brother and I that she felt like she spent her whole life captive indoors and needed to set her self free. This was her way to re-connect with nature. Now, I am not challenging all of you to go and hike the AT. However, I am definitely challenging you to go outside and walk around the park at lunch. If you can’t squeeze it in at lunch, go after work. Take the family on a hike over the weekend without cell phones, I-pod’s, Nintendo DS’s and experience the outdoors together. Enjoy all the natural beauty that our wonderful environment has to offer. There is nothing that will recharge your batteries better then some time in nature. It is what the doctor ordered!
What does this have to do with becoming a Black Belt in Business? Everything!!! If your mind and body are refreshed, you will be able to perform at a peak level in any areas of life you choose. I highly recommend that you block out the time to go into nature for yourself. Set an appointment with take some time in the woods. You will be amazed on how much more productive you will be after some time outside.
I look forward to sharing more the importance of getting outside at our 2nd annual Best of the Best Summit on March 31st. You will also hear from Lieutenant Colonel Brian P. Friedland of the US Army to share stories and his perspective on leadership. A day not to miss.