Don’t just exercise, do it outside

Runner in the park

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

We increase our ability to do this if we deepen our self-awareness.

Two of the four recommended ways of achieving this self-awareness are exercise and spending time in nature.

And we get 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

In the USA there are at least 50 outdoor exercise programs. The UK has several, including Boot Camps and Green Gyms (which include activities such as planting trees). Here are the top ten.

Australia is exploring the health and medical benefits of its national parks. And the Appalachian Mountain Club is working with MassGeneral Hospital to prescribe regular outdoor physical activity for children.

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, this weekend, will you be taking exercise, or getting out in to nature, or 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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