The Understanding & Science behind...
What is Outdoor Walking & Talking Coaching?
Outdoor coaching is simple act of regularly moving beyond our confined work space and spending time in natural open spaces. It improves creativity, productivity, reduces stress, aids mental clarity and encourages a wider appreciation of different perspectives.
Outdoor coaching combines the process of talking, listening and physical activity with the four stages of the performance coaching process, ultimately providing a real tangible benefit for you as the client, improving your physical and mental health.
How Active are you?
Spend most of your day sitting at your office desk, or sat driving from one client to the next? Do you struggle to reach the 10,000 daily steps on your AppleWatch or Fitbit?
Are you experiencing a decline in your ability to problem solve? Slower to come up with fresh ideas... Does your memory seem foggy at times? Your colleagues/peers comment on how tetchy or stressed you've become?
If the answers to these questions is an honest yes, a hesitant maybe or a reluctant no, now could be the time to adapt your lifestyle.
According to Government Guidelines published by Public Health England - Being active 3 times a week for more than 30 minutes is sufficient for the body to start benefitting from a positive impact on immediate and longterm health, both physical and mental.
If you find your habitual excuse for avoiding the issues mentioned above is lack of time then how about combining them together?
Coaching We Offer...
The Science of Exercise...
"If there were a drug that could do for human health everything that exercise can, it would likely be the most valuable pharmaceutical ever developed.
The consequences of a sedentary life are as well documented as they are dire. People with low levels of physical activity are at higher risk for many different kinds of cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's disease and early death by any cause. That's at the end of life. Long before that, inactivity can worsen arthritis symptoms, increase lower-back pain and lead to depression and anxiety--not to mention cause a sallow complexion." - Dr. Mark Tarnopolsky.
How Exercise Protects and Improves Brain Function
Research has demonstrated that exercise promotes brain health by releasing hormones like brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) from the muscles, which encourage the growth of new brain cells. This process is known as neurogenesis or neuroplasticity.
Your brain’s memory center (hippocampus) is particularly adaptable and capable of growing new cells throughout your entire lifetime, even into your 90s, provided your lifestyle supports it.
Similarly, a year-long human study found that adults who exercised regularly enlarged their brain’s memory centre by 1 to 2 percent per year, where typically the hippocampus tends to shrink with age.
Original source: https://articles.mercola.com
Exercise Also Enhances Psychological Health & Mood
Swedish researchers have discovered in their study that exercising your muscles actually helps rid your body of stress chemicals that promote depression. According to the authors, “in this context the muscle’s function is reminiscent of that of the kidney or the liver,” in that it purges your body of harmful substances.
5 Reasons Why Getting Outside is Great for Your Mental Health
Nature and being in the outdoors has a relaxing influence on both body and mind which contributes strongly to gaining deep insights and to experiencing a deep state of emotions.
The experience of the coaching process outdoors provides the coach and the client with a rich resource to draw upon; in the variety of plants, animals, insects, trees, landscapes, open space, even the weather. Nature serves as a reflection of the mental and emotional state in each of us, day to day. For example, a dark, dank wet day can stir a different impact on outlook compared to a warm sunny day that can lift ones spirits to a state of optimistic happiness and wellbeing.
The combination of the riches of the outdoor environment and physical activity engages a change in mental state that encourages creativity and innovative insights, receptiveness to behavioural change, and an attitude to a healthier positive outlook and general wellbeing.
1. Reduce Your Stress Levels
Getting outdoors and going for a walk is one of the best ways of reducing stress levels. The rhythmic motion of moving and the exercise itself has a calming effect and the physiological effects of walking, reducing blood pressure and increasing heart rate, also help to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Walking is always beneficial especially if its at least for 30 minutes and the benefits are even great if you're able to walk near water as this has been shown to be especially soothing. This isn't always easy in a city, so if possible try a walk near along a river, a canal, and ideally near the sea.
Why is reducing stress so important? Nobody particularly likes being stressed so apart from the beneficial effect on personal feelings of well-being, stress has been shown to increase blood sugar and to increase the risk of heart disease. Being stressed also increases the risk of obesity, with all its associated problems.
2. Feel Better in Yourself
For starters, getting outdoors and exercising improves self-esteem and body image.
Whilst you may defend you're a city dweller, one study undertaken asked people to exercise whilst looking at different environments. It was discovered that looking at pleasant nature scenes improved self-esteem more than looking at urban scenes.
At all ages, people who adventure outside have been found to have higher levels of self-esteem and feel that they can cope better with the stresses of modern life.
3. Improve Your Focus & Concentration
In our modern lives we're busy, we're being bombarded by information and the distracting demands for our attention means that we are finding it more difficult to focus for a long time and we become fatigued with prolonged concentration.
Research has shown that looking at nature improves our ability to restore concentration so that we can focus for longer, so time spent outdoors will likely help you to do better at work too!
4. Improve Mood and Reduce Symptoms of Depression
Did you know that regular exercise can be as effective as antidepressants in improving the symptoms of mild depression? The National Institute for Clinical Excellence recommends that people with mild to moderate depression should exercise for 45-60 minutes at least three times a week.
There's also the Sunshine effect!
Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones, muscles and teeth, and low levels of Vitamin D have been associated with depression and anxiety. Most people can make enough Vitamin D in the UK between March and September, by getting outside and exposing arms, legs or face to sunlight for short periods. The length of time you need to feel the warmth of the sun depends on your skin type and it is important to avoid sunburn, especially between 11am and 3pm.
5. Sleep Better
Getting plenty shut eye? Are you having difficulty sleeping? One thing that has been shown to help is regular physical exercise. Going for a walk, especially around lunchtime or early evening, can help you relax and improve the quality of your sleep, particularly the most refreshing REM sleep.
Walking helps sleep quality in various ways. Firstly by naturally improving your mood and wellbeing but also by improving the immune and hormonal systems. Notably, getting enough sleep also improves your brain function – another reason to don those walking shoes and get outdoors.
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