The Sparkle Coach: The natural boost for mind and body fitness
As I feel the fresh grass of my local community allotment cushion my bare feet, I take a deep breath and balance into a tree pose, I feel invigorated.
This is a new yet anchoring experience as I leave the stress of the small screen with all the digital noise firing out my phone polluting my senses.
As a city dwelling career girl, I never imagined I would be here plugged into the earth with my bare feet but even just grounding myself outdoors can have therapeutic effects for our mind and body.
I have rarely been still enough to experience this supercharge of electrical energy and the mood-boosting impact fresh air can have. There’s no wonder, more of us are appreciating the outdoors and walking more since the pandemic hit.
Yet when I turned 30, three years ago, an age at which people tend to decline in their well-being due to family, work and life commitments, I instead have been learning the art of slowing down and tuning myself into the outdoors.
I love the power that technology can have on our lives in learning new mind and body fitness skills, connecting with others. I often find social media dulls my brain to the point it has triggered dips in my own mental well-being, surging stress levels and unhealthy habits.
I decided however to challenge my anxiety with outdoor pursuits from Tough Mudder to Go Ape, from charity abseils and runs to trekking up Scafell Pike, I have been transformed by getting out of my home and head and into my body by being anchored into the outdoors world.
It was thanks to my step dad Lee’s intrepid nature and attitude to joining me on my pursuits that I have continued my ‘unlikely adventurer’ status, proving that all ages and abilities can enjoy the beauty of exploring nature.
The outdoors is a valid form of therapy to boost our well-being, full mind and body fitness, with profound results helping you to achieve peak performance levels in all aspects of life. It is as easy for a doctor to prescribe nature as it is a reactive clinical treatment, which is part of the social prescribing movement.
Prescribing nature sounds clinical in itself but it’s as natural as human and environmental evolution.
Even just a short walk to your allotment or gardening can boost your self-esteem, lower cortisol levels (the stress hormone which can cause a surge in blood pressure and body fat) as well as improving sleep. Thirty minutes of gardening on an allotment can burn around 150 calories, the same as doing low impact aerobics.
The more we connect to nature too, the better we treat the environment and the less pollution there is which is also good news for our brain cognition and physical health.
Rather than feeling intoxicated and trapped inside the snow globe of the small world we create in the palm of hands with our phones, we can have our biggest breakthroughs on a free walk by taking deep breaths and being mindful.