by Skye Nacel, Certified Personal Trainer (MovNat Level 2), Certified Broga Instructor
"Lead your child out into Nature. Tutor him on the hilltop and in the valley. There he will listen better and the sense of freedom will give him more strength to overcome difficulties." (Johan Pestalozzi, 1774).
The winters in the PNW are historically dark and wet and are the time of year that many struggle to get outside. If we are looking at health from a health-first perspective however, we know that natural exposure is critical all times of the year. We say train hard inside but only so you can have more fun, outside!
There have been some incredible studies vouching for the importance of outdoor exposure or even natural light including those in hospitals that showed that those with a room with a window view to the outdoors had shorter stays, required less pain medication and had fewer complications. (Forencich. 2003).
Our bodies are also armed with amazing immunity that is designed to get cold, wet, hot, and even dirty and mount a natural response to these situations. When we take these factors out of our lives, just like unused muscles or cognitive function, we are in danger of imbalances.
There is another common saying in the outdoor world that says, "No bad days, only bad gear." So, after a hard Core Align session or Broga class, you may need to put on some rain gear to go out for a headlamp-lit hike up Spencers Butte or drive out to storm watch at the coast.
Winter weekends are a great time in the PNW to get on outside and test that work you have been putting in indoors, test yourself, and get that clean fresh air. The Willamette Valley is home to year round waterfalls, hikes, climbing, mountain bike trails, etc. and since the climate is so mild here, you can continue to SUP, surf, and of course, head to the snow to ski, snowboard, sled or trek.
Most of the classes at Evolve Fitness Studios are done barefoot which has great year round benefits. Many classes also focus on core development and overall conditioning, which can greatly help your outdoor endeavors and prevent injuries whether you are on the slopes or raging down whitewater.
All of the trainers at Evolve Fitness Studios believe in the importance of outdoor exposure for numerous reasons, some pure science, others just plain natural pick me ups, but most of all, it is usually just fun and relieves stress. If you need any tips on ways or places to get outdoors this winter, hit us up, we are glad to help!
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