Don’t just exercise, do it outside

Runner in the park

The first competency of Inner Leadership is the ability to remain centred and grounded at all times.

We increase our ability to achieve this when we deepen our self-awareness.

Two of the four recommended ways of achieving this self-awareness are exercise and spending time in nature. We get maximum benefit when we combine the two.

Doctors in the UK and USA are increasingly writing prescriptions for outdoor activity.

Drug: exercise, Prescription: 45 mins daily

The USA has at least 50 outdoor exercise programs. The UK has several, including Boot Camps and Green Gyms (which include activities such as planting trees). You can read here about the top ten.

Australia is exploring the health and medical benefits of its national parks. The Appalachian Mountain Club is working with MassGeneral Hospital to prescribe regular outdoor physical activity for children. Doctors in Scotland are literally prescribing nature to their patients.

On the one hand it might seem crazy that we have forgotten something as simple as getting into nature and taking exercise. But on the other hand it works. People who take exercise outside lose weight and feel happier.

You can read more here.

Or, instead of reading all these links, you can make a choice: this weekend, will you exercise, spend time in nature, or do both?

Adapted from Inner Leadership: tools for building inspiration in times of change.

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Photo By Ludo Rouchy via

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