Don’t just exercise, do it outside

Runner in the park

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

We improve at this when we deepen our self-awareness. And two of the four recommended ways to do so are exercise and spending time in nature.

We obtain the 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

Doctors in Scotland are literally prescribing nature to their patientsThe UK has several outdoor exercise programs, including Boot Camps and Green Gyms (which include activities such as planting trees). You can read here about the top ten.

The USA has at least 50 (that’s only one per state) and the Appalachian Mountain Club is working with MassGeneral Hospital to prescribe regular outdoor physical activity for children.

Australia is exploring the health and medical benefits of its national parks. The Japanese government is recommending forest bathing, and there must be many more examples worldwide.

On the one hand it might seem crazy that we have forgotten something as simple as getting out 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? Your body and mind will thank you for it and you will deepen your connection with yourself.


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

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Photo By Ludo Rouchy via StockPholio.net

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