Most people hear quite a few important messages throughout the course of their lives. People hear how important the environment is. They might hear about new forms of environmentally friendly technologies. Those same people will usually also hear quite a bit about the importance of physical and mental health. However, a lot more is said about the importance of these topics than about practical ways to integrate them within one’s lifestyle. However, a firm environmentally based worldview can meld all of these topics into a singular whole. In doing so one can find a path to improving the health of both the environment and oneself.
Where and how to learn about local ecosystems
The easiest way to start is by looking for hiking trails. It can be tempting to start out with some challenging terrain. However, it’s equally important to remember that this integrated approach is all about really appreciating the environment. One should ideally find trails which offer both exercise and education. The ideal choice if available are trails within nature preserves.
A nature preserve might also be referred to as a natural reserve, wildlife refuge or nature conservation area. These have some ecological benefits over standard hiking trails. One of the biggest benefits for ecological education comes from signs and notices along the trails. One will often find small notices along the path which point out the environmental importance of various locations.
For example, consider an area where irrigation is controlled by a complex root system. Signs, plaques or messages might go into detail about how each tier of a slope contributes to the soil’s integrity. Or consider the case of a large pond. It might highlight the role that helipads play in the life cycle of the amphibians which live within it. Likewise, one might use that information to learn about how that ecosystem changes over time.
Green exercise for both mind and body
At this point one is out and about in nature. This will do a good job of helping one learn about the local ecosystem. The next role is to learn how to coexist in that ecosystem as a way to increase one’s health. This is often known as green exercise.
Green exercise is basically any fitness routine which takes place within natural environments. However, there’s more to it than just physical effects. People should consider how much calmer they felt while strolling through and learning about nature. The mental effects are largely centered around something called nature deficit disorder. The psychological model behind nature deficit disorder centers around the fact that human beings have an intrinsic need for open spaces and natural environments.
When people experience a deficit of natural environments they experience psychological hardships. Many people feel that this impaired state has become the norm for the culture as a whole. However, this also means that the average person will gain a considerable level of psychological improvement through time spent in nature. Likewise, exercise itself can offer a significant psychological benefit to people. When combined into green exercise one will experience increased psychological health through multiple different pathways.
Of course green exercise also provides a number of ways to look after one’s physical health. In a time when people see gyms as the only way to get in shape people are often shocked by what they find in nature. Ultimately one shouldn’t feel constrained to any one exercise. But there are a few popular methods to get in shape within nature. Again, a nature preserve can be optimal due to the sheer variety of nature within those ecosystems.
Trail running is one of the most accessible forms of green exercise. Even better, it fits within the earlier examination of hiking trails. Trail running often sounds a lot more complex than it actually is. Trail running is only slightly different than standard jogging or running. Of course the main difference is that one performs the exercise on nature trails.
There’s a few benefits to trail running in comparison to standard jogging. One of the most important differences is, of course, the previously mentioned psychological benefits which stem from being in nature. However one also benefits from the wider variety of obstacles to be found in nature.
The roots of trees, differences in ground density and even logs to leap from will work different muscle groups. This creates a far broader range of exercise than traditional running. People can also use their imagination to expand the nature of the workout. For example, someone who wants an upper body workout might focus on climbing trees. This real world use of one’s upper body will often provide a better workout than found in a gym.
Green tech and ecological considerations for small electronics
Finally, one should consider how to incorporate technology into one’s appreciation of nature. Water should be one’s first priority. People often find themselves needing water while on a hike or run. This can offer a chance to learn about water quality within an area.
People can usually look into overall water purity for streams. But even ponds can provide usable water. However, it’s important to purify the water in some way when drinking from the often stagnant water of ponds. A simple portable water filter can take care of this. Between bag and filter people can usually fit it all into a pocket.
Portable electronics such as phones can be a slightly trickier consideration. But that’s also the perfect way to learn about solar power. Small solar cells can often provide a surprising amount of power. It’s not at all uncommon for a moderately sized solar cell to be able to charge one’s phone. Powering a phone might not seem like a way to change the world. However, there’s not much of a difference between a small solar cell for personal electronics and a larger one for a house. Learning how to make the best use of one will help people learn to make the best use of the other.
Bringing it all together
All of this will lead one into a broader understanding of multiple aspects of the environment. People will learn about ecological science and how it impacts their life. They’ll learn how to gain physical and mental strength through green exercise. The process will teach people how to use the sun for power and natural water for sustenance. In short, one will find a life in full balance with the environment.