Benefits Of Exercising In Nature (and why it’s better than at home workouts)

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I still do some at home workouts. But I really feel too strongly about getting out in nature and just moving. You can walk, hike, run, swim, etc… But the added benefits to getting outside and away from technology for a hot minute is well worth it. At home and gym workouts are awesome for changing up your routine, getting out of the rain and snow, or just meeting other people and that energy vibe you get from working out around other people. But stepping away from the TV, the computers and the tablets can change your entire mental outlook for the day. So get outside and take a walk!

Hiking In My Neighborhood

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First Landing State Park – Virginia Beach, Virginia

We love First Landing trails for hiking/walking and even trail runs. We love nature and the trails are easy to navigate. One of the trails lead to a beautiful hidden beach. First Landing it’s such a lovely place to be! There are tons of trails for hiking, biking and running. There is a trail center with maps, an informative museum,gifts, restrooms and a venue for special occasions. This is a great place for weddings, trail side or beach side. Where you can find me hiking the most.

 

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Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge – Virginia Beach, Virginia

Beautiful wildlife refuge and great spots for photo ops! It’s really peaceful at Back Bay. Off season some areas are restricted though so check with the websites for more info!

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Northwest River Park – Chesapeake, Virginia

Pretty little park with paved walkways.

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Chesapeake Arboretum – Chesapeake, Virginia

Very shady canopy. Well maintained trails. Tucked away behind a shopping plaza of all things. Take bug spray!

 

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Norfolk Botanical Gardens – Norfolk, Virginia

Yes you have to pay for admission. But you are surrounded by beauty every step of the way. They have a snack bar and lots of places to sit if you get weary. Some areas are not shaded very well so it can get super hot in the middle of summer mid-afternoon. I love this place for a hike, even if it isn’t your normal “hike” type area.

 

 

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Hoffler Creek Wildlife Preserve – Portsmouth, Virginia

Heavy salt marsh environment. Beautiful trails  that wind through the surrounding forest and a big lake.

 

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Sandy Bottom Nature Park – Hampton, Virginia

456 acres of wilderness and wildlife, with 8.6 miles of loop trail surrounding a lake as well as a nature center with educational information. The trails are accessible year-round, are great for any skill level and dogs are welcome as well as long as they are on a leash. This is a beautiful hike!

 

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Newport News Park – Newport News, Virginia

Pretty view, isn’t it? This park offers 9 trails that cover approximately 30 miles, featuring a lake and plenty activities from bird watching to forested paths, fields of wildflowers, canoeing, as well as historical sites.  The trails are considered suitable for all skill levels and can be fairly popular on nice weekend days, so if you prefer seclusion, get there early. Dogs are also welcome as well but must be on a leash.

 

Hiking/Walking

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BENEFITS YOU GET FROM HIKING AND WALKING

Improved cardio-respiratory fitness for your heart, lungs, and blood vessels

Improved muscular fitness

Lower risk of early death

Lower risk of coronary heart disease 

Lower risk of stroke

Lower risk of high blood pressure

Lower risk of type 2 diabetes

Lower risk of high cholesterol

Lower risk of high triglycerides

Lower risk of colon cancer

Lower risk of breast cancer

Increased bone density or a slower loss bone and bone strength

With kids it lessens the chance of developing obesity

Reduced depression

Better quality sleep

More vitamin D absorption

Get out and walk 💚😀

 

Walking Meditation

 

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INKnBURN Does Nature

 

 

“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” 

― John Muir

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hiking & walking in nature, for me, is blissful. And each season brings it’s own bit of wonder and wisdom to the hike. I never really sat down and wondered why I love to hike so much. I mean, yeah I love nature and getting any exercise is a pure endocrine giving burst while getting my body in better shape. But I knew it was more than that, something deeper, almost spiritual in form. I found a sense of peace as my footsteps hit the earth and my mind would wander to, wow, to nowhere, and yet everywhere all at the same time. But not in a rushed getting through the day mode, or not in the chaotic work essence. No, it was within a place of complete release. Complete mental relaxation. And that was when I realized, without knowing it, I was meditating by accident.

Having done meditation in a seated position in my home, and on the beach, I knew exactly what meditation was. But this was different, almost a purer meditation. I realized that my eyes drinking in the trees, the beaches, or the streams was guiding my meditation deeper within.

You don’t even have to believe in meditation for meditation to have effect. Meditation is nothing much more than allowing your mind to be still, and then, once still to allow it to wander to places of peace and zero stress. And nature is a remedy in itself for stress. Why do you think major white collar corporations do retreats to the wilderness camps?

In our hectic world of technology and as we rush from job to second job, or from work to making dinner for the family. Or when we have to study relentlessly into the wee hours of night just to get up to go take the test and a full day of classes. We forget to take time to really turn off. Many people turn to the TV to do that, when in fact it may distract, but it doesn’t help your brain find peace. It’s just living someone else’s fictional life instead of your own.

Meditation is hard on some. They don’t know the first steps, or just can’t do it automatically, can’t shut out the world outside. It takes practice. And patience. I think walking meditation is in some ways an easier starting point at meditating 101 because your body is still being allowed to move, while quieting the racket in your mind. I highly recommend being in nature though, not on a busy street where you have to watch for traffic, lights and hear blaring sirens and car honks. A peaceful little park will do.

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Meditations

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From Mind Space
http://www.mindspace.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/walk.mp3

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A Mindful Hike

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Hiking. I like hiking more than any other physical exercise. And that in itself says a lot.Taking in nature in all it’s grand forms; mountains, trails, beaches, parks, etc… is very grounding and calming to me. Very meditative and gives time for introspection or even just the ability to shut the chatter of the mind completely out and just take in the scenery and feel the earth below my feet. I recently learned there is a term for what I like to do and it’s called Mindful Hiking. I like to let the experts do the talking so here is more info and ideas about stepping out on a meditative type of hiking experience!

 

 

 

hike_spot2Physical activity. Beautiful scenery. Who doesn’t like the occasional hike in the great outdoors? And when you add a little extra awareness to the experience, your outing can benefit both your body and your mind.

Take a Mindful Hike

 

 

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