Do your couch and TV screen feel warm and inviting, especially when you’re feeling down or overwhelmed?
The gravitational pull of our comfortable nests has become particularly strong in these hectic times, and it appears it’s quite easy to give up on all the charms of the great outdoors. This leads to sedentary lifestyles riddled with chronic health issues.
And all it takes to prevent this is rediscovering a sense of adventure beyond the threshold of your home.
Undeniably, there are innumerable physical and psychological benefits to outdoor adventures, but the spiritual value might be exactly the thing that urges you to embark on an escapade. It’s an opportunity to broaden your horizons, meet new cultures, and work on your agility as you marvel at the Earth’s beauty.
Small steps, big thoughts
If you’re not ready for a big leap – like traveling to another continent or even to a foreign country – you can start with small steps and work your way from there. It’s perfectly reasonable to experience some trepidation at first, especially if you’re the type that’s easily stressed out. You are, after all, making an effort to step out of your comfort zone.
However, if you’ve resolved to turn things around and start relishing in the outdoors, you can kick it off by visiting the closest national park or, at the very least, a landmark that you’ve never seen before.
The goal is to soak up the sun and encourage your body to produce vitamin D. The mission is to work on those glutes and push your body forward. The vision is to rekindle the zest for life.
Now, you’ll inevitably be faced with unfavorable weather that will interfere with your plans every now and then, and we can’t stress enough how important it is not to postpone your adventure when that happens. Just make sure you’ll stay safe and dry with warm clothing, a raincoat, and a pair of durable waterproof boots, and off you go to conquer the great unknown. But why go through such a hassle, you may ask?
Well, humans are creatures of habit, and as soon as you start using one excuse for a rain check, you’ll give yourself the allowance to do it again and again until every little hurdle in the way becomes an obstacle to taking action.
And let’s be honest, laziness is what hides behind it. At the end of the day, there’s still the pull of that couch and the familiar comfort of your computer screen.
For now, you just have to break the chain and get into the habit of going outside, no matter the cost.
Your body reaps the benefits
As you get into the rhythm of visiting a new destination or a national park every weekend or so, you will start to feel your body becoming more resilient. Needless to say, you’ll certainly begin to develop that muscle mass if you’ve taken enough time to hike or run through the newly discovered regions. Research proves that spending time in nature can improve the responsiveness of the immune system, so you can count on an immunity boost, too.
If you get a chance to participate in new activities – such as kayaking, swimming, diving, or spelunking – seize the opportunity, although it might seem intimidating at first! Take the leap, try new things, immerse yourself in unfamiliar experiences. At all times, make sure you’re safe and accompanied by someone who knows what they’re doing.
As you begin feeling more emboldened by your trips, you might want to consider venturing beyond borders and visiting an entirely different variety of biomes and cultures. This might happen even before you’ve run out of places to visit in your county (or state).
Once you start visiting other countries on a regular basis, your mind will reap incredible benefits. Here’s how.
Time to go beyond
You are more capable and resourceful than you think. Human beings are wired to adapt and make the best of any situation. Furthermore, their brain is designed to thrive on the experience.
The mixture of physical activity (such as hiking, cycling, and urban exploring) and mental stretching in the form of communicating, finding directions, and orienting yourself in an unfamiliar environment, promotes the growth of the hippocampus – that’s the memory center of your brain. It also boosts your creative thinking and confidence.
Making bold choices and getting out of your comfort zone will strengthen your nerves and help you rediscover a sort of inner balance. This is why outdoor adventures – be it hiking through nature or cities – have helped many people deal with sleep inertia and chronic fatigue.
Physically exhausted and mentally fulfilled, you will sleep like a baby after each eventful trip.
You’ve probably realized by now that outdoor adventures are more than just ‘healthy’ in a traditional sense of that word. They are also transformative experiences that can rewire the way you engage in everyday life.
Ultimately, this is the icing on the cake for anyone willing to get off the couch and take the first step towards a life of adventure. The string of awards that await along the way is just too good to be true – and yet, they are at your hand’s reach.