Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wellness Wednesday: Walk With Me

Last week, I introduced you to a new series. If you missed it, check it out here. As usual, you guys were awesome, encouraging, and excited for something new!

I thought through each of the posts I've come up with so far, and couldn't decide what would provide the perfect start to this series.

Then I was introduced to a video in a course I am taking at my University. The course is on the functioning abilities of older adults in late stages of life, and the video is about "blue zones". These are areas of the world where it is common to see individuals over 100 years of age living healthy, active lifestyles. One of the cultures featured has woman over 100 years old who sit on the floor, and get up, multiple times throughout the day. Have you seen an american elder do that lately? or ever?

I couldn't help but think this video would be the perfect start to a series on wellness. 

You can watch it here on ted talks. (It's short!)

 If you don't have time for that, basically it says to eat a plant based diet with small amounts of grass fed animal protein. It includes the importance of social support throughout development and older adulthood. What I found most interesting, however, was the stress put on "natural exercise", or incorporating physical activity into your daily life. (These cultures don't go to the gym!)

This brings me to why I'm here. One of the cultures in the video, in addition to natural exercise,  takes a nature walk each week. This is noted as a factor contributing to their longevity. 

If you've seen my last motivation monday, you already know I'm heading out to the woods this weekend. I'll be camping and hiking in northern Michigan, or one of the most beautiful places in the world (I may be bias...). I firmly believe in shutting off your phone, heading to the closest bit of nature, and hiking for awhile is good for your health. It may even help you live to 100!

So for this Wellness Wednesday, I challenge you to do something good for yourself. Something easy and enjoyable. Take off to the nearest nature and go for a walk. 

Can't find any nature near you? 
Check here to find a national or state park. 
(For Michiganders, when you get new tabs for your car, invest an extra ten dollars for an annual state park pass. If not, in Michigan, state parks are five dollars for the day or $25 for an annual sticker pass)

Too natural for your liking? 
Try rails-to-trails here. 
Most of the trails are paved, and those that aren't are remarkably well kept up. Also, these trails are made on, you guessed it, old railroad tracks, so they are pretty darn flat. 

If your up for some adventure? 
Try Singletracks to find a mountain biking trail near you. 
This site has reviews and trail maps, with great directions to the trail head.

Still can't find anything? 
-Check your local university. Many have property away from the main campus for environmental sciences students that is often open to the public. 
-Take a walk through your neighborhood. Shut off your phone and enjoy being outside.

So for week one, lets start out easy on the road to wellness.
Will you walk this week?

(While your getting ready for the weekend, check out some natural sparkle!


  1. Looks beautiful!! The "nature park" close to me is the everglades and Im terrified!! lol

    1. How lucky! That would be a scary hike, but I'm sure there are some safe trails :)

  2. I looooove nature walks... they're the best with a camera in hand!

  3. Walking is free and easy. Even better with your dog. I need to do more of it, in the city the neighborhood or nature!

  4. I absolutely love nature walks too! I"m usually a big hiker! Hiking with the pups is better! The road to wellness sounds to me! I have a baby now, so I just need to get a little more creative about how to get out into nature!

    1. How great! I started "hiking" with my parents when I was two weeks old, there are some great baby backpack options where your little one can sit safely on your back while you hike :)

  5. Replies
    1. Nature's not so scary if you get to know it ;)