As I often report, the U.S. government’s misguided response to the coronavirus pandemic took a terrible toll on American health and well-being.
It caused serious financial woes…spikes in anxiety, depression, and insomnia…and record-breaking decreases in life expectancy.
But there has been one positive effect from this whole mess.
Many people gave up this “healthy habit”…and their body, mind, and spirit are all benefiting!
Millions of people stopped going here
As you’ll recall, when the coronavirus first hit U.S. soil back in March 2020, state governments enacted mandatory shut-downs of all non-essential businesses and industries. This draconian directive included gyms.
Of course, by late summer 2020, many states started to open back up with mask-mandates in effect. Including fitness centers.
But for many centers, especially those with smaller facilities and less space for people to “spread out,” it was too late. The damage had already been done: Millions of people who had ended expensive gym memberships never went back.
And now, the new, highly contagious omicron variant—and its subvariant, BA.2—has the few people who did return to the gym wondering if it’s all worth it.
Well, in my view, getting a gym membership has never really been worth it.
For one, pumping iron, pounding away on the treadmill, or going nowhere on a stationary bike in a dark, dank space just isn’t good for your physical or mental health. (Not to mention the air inside indoor gyms can be filled with harmful toxins!)
You’re far better off doing what we all were forced to do during the mandatory lockdowns…
Going outside to get your exercise!
Being in Nature benefits the body, mind, and spirit
I often extol the health benefits of exercising outdoors in Nature. For one, walking and climbing over soft, natural terrain is gentler on your joints than pounding away on pavement or a treadmill.
Plus, since natural terrain is uneven, it poses more of a challenge, allowing you to build muscle and work with gravity on your balance and coordination (a key factor associated with longevity). This is especially important for older people.
In addition, studies show spending time in green or blue spaces (near the water) offers many physical and psychological benefits.
In fact, people who spend more time in green spaces live longer and develop fewer diseases. And in a large, 2013 study, 20,000 smartphone users reported feeling “happiest” when they spent time along the coastline and in marine environments.
Lastly, there’s a soothing, peaceful, and spiritual dimension, with all the sights, sounds, smells, and feelings you experience by spending time near a woodland, forest, or body of water.
So, even after this latest coronavirus variant phases out (as they all have done), I urge you to keep getting your exercise outside in Nature.
Go for a walk. Take a swim in a natural body of water once the temperatures warm up. Or just start clearing out the winter brush around the yard. (Remember, ANY kind of physical activity counts toward your weekly target of 140 to 150 minutes…including gardening and housework.)
You can even try forest bathing! (Learn how to indulge in this “new” trend in the March 2020 issue of my monthly Insiders’ Cures newsletter [“A simple way to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and ward off cancer—naturally”]. Not yet a subscriber? Click here now!)
No matter how you choose to get your weekly exercise…just don’t go back to the gym to do it!