Smell the...Everything May 2022
By Jules Delorme
The flowers are blooming. The trees are sprouting leaves. And for the first time in two years, we can go outside and really enjoy the air. That doesn’t mean we’re safe. But it does mean we can breathe. It does mean we can get outside. And more importantly, though it may not occur to most of us, we can get out in nature.
Even those of us who live in the city can go the local park and just enjoy the air. Why is that important? Well, it turns out there are studies that show that people who spend time in nature are healthier. They tend to be calmer. They tend to sleep better. They tend to get sick less often. As a Personal Trainer of course I want to tell you to come to the gym. I don’t make any money if you don’t. But one of the things that I do with most of my clients is to take them outside to work out in a park of even in the patch of grass next to the gym. Why? Well, I love to be outside and I hate to be inside. And variety is the spice of life. But my trainees will tell me how much more fun, how time just seems to fly when they’re outside.
And, here’s a little secret. You don’t need a trainer for that. You don’t need a gym at all. Walking is the healthiest form of exercise there is. It’s low impact, reduces stress, especially when done in nature, is great for the heart, and can burn fat. Running is good too, but be careful. It puts a lot of stress of the joints and most long-distance runners are the opposite of healthy. They stress their bodies to absolute limit. There’s other reasons for doing it. But don’t do it for your health. There are plenty of Tai Chi or Yoga classes that are held outdoors. Be careful about Cross Fit or ParCore in the long term for the same reasons as long-distance running. A little can be good. Too much can be very bad.
Dogs are great because they get you outside and can remind you to take joy in being outside. They also get dirty which it turns out is great for the immune system. And that’s the thing about nature. Yes, it’s beautiful. But it’s also dirty. It also stinks. Which it turns out wakes up the senses. We get used to the stink of the city but the stink of nature is a whole different thing and there’s a reason why dogs and other animals spend so much time smelling things. Smell is information. Smell is life. It wakes up the mind. Maybe you’re not ready to roll around on the grass like a dog but taking a walk in the woods isn’t just pleasant. It’s healthy. So, get out there and smell the… Not just the roses… All that nature has to offer.
~ Jules Delorme is a Personal Trainer & MMA Coach, firstname.lastname@example.org