Having something to train for that you are excited about and that you share with a group of friends, in nature, is a wonderful way to keep fit and be accountable. But not only that, it’s the combination of wellbeing for mind, body and spirit that really makes you want to get out there and walk every day.
We know that feeling of invigoration, of energy, happiness and fulfilment, that comes from taking part in activities in nature, such as hiking, surfing, stand up paddling or diving. Countless studies are showing us that spending time in natural surroundings is actually integral to our health, and shouldn’t be something we put off.
I am passionate about getting people out in nature, taking on goals that inspire them to look after their physical and mental wellbeing, and studying closely the habits of those in the world that are showing us the keys to a long and healthy life. In fact if you want to preserve your mental and physical wellbeing, take a look at how some of the longest living people the world live. They can be found in five zones:
- Barbagia region of Sardinia –
- Ikaria, Greece
- Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica
- Seventh Day Adventists Loma Linda, California
- Okinawa, Japan
Studies are showing that it is a combination of specific factors that are common to the people living there, that make for longevity. Being part of a community where you share experiences and healthy lifestyle behaviours, moving naturally, spending time outdoors and having a purpose are just some of the 9 healthy habits displayed by the people living in these Blue Zones. Most importantly, it also shows us that our genes have much less influence on our health than we give them credit for, and that in fact it is the way we eat, live and socialise that has a much greater effect on our overall wellbeing and longevity. (Find out more about the Blue Zones at Bluezones.com)
I have just returned from hiking three days on the stunning Scenic Rim Trail hike with a group of wonderful women from across Australia, who all trained and prepared for this goal in their home towns, under my guidance as Trek Coach. We came back feeling rejuvenated and having shared lots of laughter and many steps together. We are blessed to have been given this wonderful chance to spend time out in nature, in an area still relatively untouched, to immerse ourselves in the sounds of the wilderness, and enjoy being with people who love walking in the wild. On the journey to this trek, we feel like we created our very own Blue Zone!
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