How are you? I hope your 2019 has got off to a great start.
I’d like to start by putting it out there that New Year Resolutions can be hell. Often fuelled by guilt, obligation, or a noxious mix of both. Often involve punishing yourself by taking something away.
Let’s turn the whole process on its head and make being kind to yourself central. You’re doing great already, so why not make your NY resolution about adding in something fun/positive/nourishing/beneficial to your life?
This way it could actually be a pleasure to commit to and to fulfil your New Year Resolution! Imagine that.
I would also suggest that you don’t overload yourself by sticking to just one thing. Choose the one thing that will bring the most joy to your life and have a good go at implementing that consistently.
For me, that’s continuing on the same track I started at the end of last year. Getting outdoors every day to exercise.
I’ve decided not to be over-ambitious with this, thereby not piling pressure on myself. Expecting too much of myself is my usual default, so this in itself is a welcome novelty. So, my simple aim this year is to make time every day for a brisk 30-minute walk. When I can, I might amp it up to a jog or even join a Pod session, but if I can achieve a simple walk outdoors every day, that will be enough.
Being outdoors and raising your heartrate is great for your mind and body in many ways.
We all sit for far too long now. This is not something our bodies have evolved to do.
On a physiological level, when we sit down, we cut off the blood supply to our glutes, so they literally waste away. Nobody wants a saggy bottom! Worse, when your glutes are weak it’s only a matter of time before you start getting lower back pain. No thanks.
We also haven’t evolved to stay indoors. The Biophilia hypothesis puts forward the idea that us humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life. We evolved in nature and so instinctively love nature. So why do we spend so much time cooped up indoors? It’s actually counter-intuitive.
Being outdoors lets sunlight onto your skin which boosts your vitamin D, vital for a strong immune system, and also for staving off osteoporosis (brittle bones). Walking is great because the inherent gentle bounce is great for maintaining peak bone density. Getting your heart rate up is not only good for your cardiovascular system, it also increases blood supply to the brain which encourages Neurogenesis. This is the production of new neurons, which leads to a more flexible brain. That means a brain able to think more creatively, problem-solve and deal with stress better. How cool is that?!
Here’s some more science for you: did you know that seeing sky is good for your mental health? Kings College London produced some research just last year which found that “being outdoors, seeing trees, hearing birdsong, seeing the sky and feeling in contact with nature were associated with higher levels of mental wellbeing.”
Have I convinced you to go outside for a walk yet?
p.s. if ever you would like to join me for a walk and a chat, please just drop me a line!