Posts Tagged ‘outdoors’

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with a summer job, are stressed about school, or feel like your thumbs might fall off from texting, read this article, step away from the computer, and go outside.

As a kid, I lived to be outdoors in the summer. Exploring creaks, climbing water falls, diving off docks, and sailing just made every summer complete. Unfortunately, as I’ve grown older and gone to college, I’ve lost my enchantment with summer as I’ve gained weight, stress, and concentration issues.

These days, instead of enjoying the simplicity of the outdoors, I catch myself on Facebook looking through pictures and stalking high school friends. I have a feeling this is pretty common for most college students. We often turn to technology because it is at our fingertips and it seems more relaxing than anything outdoors.

However, don’t call the myth busters on this one. A lot of research suggests that technology does the opposite. It affects people’s attention spans and makes them more anxious by creating a fake sense of urgency, according psychology professor David Strayer from the University of Utah in a New York Times article.

We are programmed to respond almost immediately in face-to-face conversations. Even when I try to forget a text from my boyfriend while I am running, I often end up stopping to respond and going from the bliss of running through the peaceful woods, to worrying about how the hell we are going to coordinate our crazy work schedules to make our long distance relationship work. It’s no wonder Strayer believes that technology can lead to attention deficit disorder, schizophrenia, stress, and depression!

Luckily, it’s never too late to unplug and restore your mental health with nature. Scott Catucci, the head of Outdoor Recreation activities at Syracuse, organizes and leads adventure and teamwork geared trips throughout the semester such as dogsledding, backpacking, and white-water rafting. He said the adrenaline boost from these activities can help relieve more complicated and draining everyday stress. Plus overcoming fears or challenges leaves you feeling more confident and accomplished.

Need more motivation to “misplace” your phone or unglue your face from tumbler on a beautiful afternoon? A Harvard study found that not only does getting outside improve your concentration and decrease anxiety, but natural sunlight also elevates your mood, can fight cancer (don’t forget sunscreen) and make you more physically fit. You can even recover from injuries (like that unexplained twisted ankle from last weekend). The study showed that a view of a tree out of a hospital window helped patients recover faster than staring at a wall.

So stop gawking at this computer screen and answer the call of the wild and your inner-child. Go for a hike, throw a frisbee at the park, walk your dog – just get outdoors. It can be tough with a busy schedule, but make the time and your body and mind will thank you.

-Shannon Hazlitt

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The 30-Minute Outdoor Workout

Posted: May 22, 2012 by jerkmag in CRISP -- health
Tags: , , ,

It is finally consistently beautiful here in Upstate New York. That means sitting in the sunshine all day long, running in the fresh air and not that smelly gym, and taking our workouts outdoors.

I always brush up on my fitness techniques and exercises because there are constantly new workouts available. Your body also gets used to your workouts if you do them every single day, which means you should add some variety into your workouts. Do something Monday, Wednesday, and Friday but not Tuesday or Thursday.

Here are a few exercises I found on Fitnessmagazine.com that are very simple but very efficient. Plus they’re for your outside workouts.

Side Leap: Stand on a flat surface with your feet together, bend your knees and hop as far as you can to your right without putting your left foot on the ground. Bend your right knee and hop as far to the left as you can without placing your right foot on the ground. Do 20 hops on each side, for a more intense exercise, go faster or slower and increase the amount of hops you do.

Park Bench Dip: With your back to the bench, place your hands on the bench, hip width apart. With your feet together and your body in a sitting position, bend your elbows to a 90-degree angle and return to start position. Keep your body close to the bench at all times. Complete 12 to 15 reps.

Park Bench Push Up: Place your hands on the park bench while walking your feet out behind your body until your legs are completely extended. Bend arms and lower chest toward bench. Complete 12 reps. For another variation of the push up visit Fitnessmagazine.com

Hanging Crunch: Take hold of a sturdy tree branch, monkey bars, or other elevated item, keep arms fully extended while bringing your knees up towards your abs. Do as many as you can.

For more workouts visit Fitnessmagazine.com

-Brooke Leone