VFit’s Weekly Inspo
Being outside and connecting with nature is such a huge part of wellness that is often overlooked these days. The fanciest, most high tech studios are coming out on every corner. Many having the feel more like a nightclub, than a fitness studio. And why that is all good by us, we love reaching beyond the norm of a traditional gym, there is a big piece of health that we feel MANY are missing out on these days………
And we aren’t talking purely for the benefits you get with Vitamin D coming from the sun. We believe when you get outside and soak in different sites, sounds and levels of energy, you are doing a huge benefit to your physical and mental well being.
At a time when most of us have jobs that keep us indoors, a long commute, then head home to make dinner, eat indoors, then go to bed, where’s the outdoor time? You can literally navigate 90%+ of your life these days without having to step foot outside. Drive-thru’s, grocery delivery, Amazon (guilty as charged here!), food delivery, etc.
But as humans, it is crucial that we get fresh air and time to unplug every single day if possible. This is an area that even a few minutes of effort on can reap a huge return on your time investment.
At VFit, we live by 7 Pillars of health and getting outside is one of them. That means, our core values on what makes a well rounded and healthy person, getting outside ranks as important to us as exercise and food! GASP, we said it and we mean it.
Even a few minutes outside can bring you a huge host of benefits such as: increased mental clarity, boosted immunity, a greater sense of being, grounding to your true self and a moment to UNPLUG.
In this tech driven world, even taking a few minutes to step outside and listen to the birds chirping, or to take a walk all alone, can do more to your health and well being than a 30 minute workout. Or you can even multi-task and do a workout outside!
We can get so stuck in a routine and stuck in our box, that we can forget the joys of being outside.
We chose this image and yoga pose (“tree pose” for those who are not familiar) to bring a strong visual to this week’s inspirational message:
“You are not a tree. If things are not working for you, change your conditions.”
We invite everyone to find 10 minutes this week to head outside and take a couple moments with each sense with our VFIT 10 Minutes with the Senses Outside:
Sight – Look up at the sky and colors and shades above you, whether blue, or shades of grey with clouds. Check out the landscape around you, the shades of green, brown, maybe the flora around you is in bloom.
Touch – Now walk around and focus on the feeling of your foot as you step onto the earth. Gravity’s pull bringing you to the ground. If you can, even take off your shoes and practice the art of ‘grounding’ – walking barefoot in a mindful state. At a chemical level, the ions between you and the ground are shared when you do this. How does the air feel around you? Is it humid? Run your hands through the grass, along some tree bark, along the warm stones in your driveaway.
Hearing – Get yourself into a safe area to do so, and then close your eyes. Settle in a comfortable position, then use a few moments to listen. Quiet your mind and focus on the sounds around you. The blue jays, buzzing bees, passing cars, waves crashing, distant sounds of lawn mowers or construction down the road.
Smell – This one is likely the easiest, as our olfactory sense never turn off. Even when we run around busy as can be, you’ll ALWAYS be able to smell the spray of a skunk or the blooming of your peonies in the yard. Take a moment while outside and see what else you can smell. The smell of the ocean or a salt marsh? Perhaps you smell your garden mulch, or lavender from your garden.
Taste – Finally we come to taste. While we do not advocate too much on this one outdoors unless you KNOW it’s something safe to eat such as a fresh strawberry from your strawberry patch, another way to do this one outdoors is to practice mindful eating. Grab something to eat, take it outside, and before you put in your mouth, truly focus on it then take a bite and chew at least 20 times before you swallow. As you focus on chewing and the enzymes in your saliva break down the food, notice the subtle differences in taste. Mindfulness while eating helps promote healthier digestion.
Now that was just 10 minutes of not doing anything in particular, but just being outside. How did that feel for you?
Imagine now, letting in more mindfulness of the senses while you are outside AND then adding in more outdoor activity on top of that.
A big complaint that many have about keeping up with their exercise routines is that they are bored. They feel stuck. That they lack the motivation to want to go to the gym anymore. And to be honest, we can’t blame them! Going to the same exact space each time, with the same equipment, stale indoor air, maybe even the same playlist of music. There’s NOTHING fresh there. There’s no heightening of the senses, no variation.
We encourage our members to take their workouts outside whenever possible. Whether its logging in with their device anywhere they can find service – and we’ve seen it all, from ponds, beaches, backyards, to playgrounds! – or simply hiking or a jog, we know that there’s just so much good that comes from spending more time outdoors.
Getting yourself outside more will bring your more happiness, boost your energy, increase the ever popular Vitamin D level, build mental abilities by helping you think more clearly, and again, boost that immunity and shake things up.
We challenge each of you to work to add in more outdoor time this week and see how you feel by week’s end. Start with the VFIT 10 Minutes with the Senses Outside and see where that takes you!
Rachele, Maria and the VFit dream team!
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- First Friday’s Wellness Cafe: Ayruveda 101 with Lindsay
- First Friday’s Wellness Cafe: Revisiting Wellness Intentions and Mindset Shifts
- First Friday’s Wellness Cafe: Setting Intentions for the New Year
- NorCal Mexican Quinoa Salad