Ep. 027 – Exercise in Nature

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Good morning and welcome to Episode 027 of the Train Your Brain Podcast with Dr. Michael Trayford. Every Monday we produce a 30-minute episode. Tuesday through Sunday we produce episodes with five-minute tips. Every episode of the Train Your Brain Podcast features a tip, so you can receive pointers 365 days a year that will help enhance the performance of your brain!

In Episode 027, Dr. Trayford gives us a tip to enhance our time while exercising. Exercising in nature, as opposed to exercising in a gym, increases our self-awareness, stimulates more of our senses and elevates our level of brain and body function. What a great way for us to enrich our lives! Thanks for listening!

If you have any concerns regarding the information and applications discussed in this podcast, please consult your physician and a doctor who is experienced in functional neurology. Michael Trayford DC, DACNB is available for consultation by calling (828) 708-5274. Thanks for listening.

We have a good one today. I love this. I try to do it all the time. I think gyms serve a great purpose. Many people love them and they get the job done. I am not a gym person. So this one is perfect for one who’s not a gym person. Also to it provides a whole different level of stimulation for your brain that the gym simply can’t do. And that’s exercising in nature.

Now in preparation or this podcast I had actually just googled exercising in nature. I’ve done a lot of reading over the years. I’ve seen a ton of studies talking about things like nature deficit disorder. Have you heard that one?

Jason: I have not. That sounds made up!

Nature deficit disorder, just like any other condition that is brought up so that the people can get assessed and looked at for certain things. Basically it makes good sense. And there is a term now Nature Deficit Disorder. But when I was looking actually Wikipedia now has an area called green exercise. I guess this is the new term. I hadn’t necessarily heard Green Exercise but it makes sense the way everything has going, that everything should be labeled in it’s nice compartment.

Really exercising in nature is what it’s all about. The positive repercussions of doing this have been documented for a long time. So many things happen when you exercise in an outdoor environment. Including a greater sense of self-awareness and creativity. People have things come to them and they’re better able to express themselves when they’re working out in nature, versus working out in the gym.

Also to there is multimodal stimulation. Now in the gym you’re going to have certain smell but you can usually predict what those smells are. It’s old gym equipment, rubber and things like that from the mats on the floor.

When you’re in nature, you’re smelling trees, flowers what’s in the air. You feel the changes in humidity and even if you take the same trail all the time, particularly in our area, Asheville North Carolina, I can hike the same trail and then hike it again two weeks later and it’s a completely different trail. Just because of the amount of things growing there, what’s blooming at this time and what’s not the next time.

So there’s really so much that engages the sense when you’re exercising in nature. They’ve also shown, many studies have talked about increased self esteem, improved mood, increased self awareness. So these things have been documented, they have been studied. Exercising in nature does in fact elevate our level of brain and body functions.

You think about it to. If you’re familiar with recovery programs, addiction recovery programs. Many of these types of programs are wilderness based programs. So what are they doing?

They’re taking people from inner cities and other area and they’re putting them in the woods for extended periods of time. Number one: it’s get them away from their source of distraction or their source of addiction.

But also to, it’s building self esteem, relationship building, it’s mood elevating. It’s all kinds of sensory stimulation that they might not be used to, in interacting with their natural environment. In fact leads to healthier brains.

It’s just a win-win for everybody. And looking at our environment and taking care of our environment is a bigger issue moving into this 21 century here. So I recommend that everybody get out there and do it.

Jason: I like it.

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