I was reading some medical and environmental Journal articles the other day…
Now hold on a second, please don’t start judging me on my nerdiness, it’s just that in my spare time I like to learn, and if 6 years of University taught me anything it’s that you should be trying to learn from a reliable source. Hence the Journal articles... And I encourage the reading, “hey Janna I found an article that sounds good, read it and let me know what it says” as I’ve said before, Janna’s my living version of readers digest.
Carrying on. I was reading an article from the Environmental Science and Technology Journal regarding Nature and its many benefits, and it got me thinking. So here are my thoughts.
The sharing of information and knowledge with other people works in an intriguing but potentially vicious cycle.
Stay with me for a second...Janna's famous “side note” here it comes…
Growing up, I loved being outside. The fresh, distinct smell of a fall day; the sparkle on everything outside on a crisp, cold, but sunny and clear winter day; the springy texture of moss beneath your feet on a hike in the forest; the sound of a creek running over rocks amidst total and complete silence; when I experience all of these things now as an “adult” I enjoy them just as much as I did when I was a kid. They improve my mood. They make me feel good about life and the things going on. They calm me down. They connect me back to the earth and remind me that I am apart of something so much bigger than myself... I second that, all of it. Mother Nature is a beauty. Nature is our natural home so take time to explore it.
So from those personal experiences and many others I have always known that being outside rocks, it’s good for my physical, mental and spiritual well-being and I am healthier when it is apart of my regular routine than when it is not. These personal experiences lead me to became a Physical Education teacher, and are very much a reason why I decided to be a Co-Go-er with GO Adventure Co... The first hand experiences i’ve had with these are all the reasons why i took recreation at school and eventually started GO. we can thank our passion for the outdoors for connecting us and developing our friendship.
Me knowing these things is great for me. It benefits me and my life. It keeps me healthy. However, now that part of my “job” is to promote getting outside, moving and playing, it’s not enough for just ME to know these things...or me... I want everyone else to know them too. I want everyone else to benefit from them. I want everyone else to be healthy...it makes us sound greedy because theres a lot of “i wants”, but they are the “i wants” that we are ok with because we truly want people to benefit from nature
But, what I am finding is it’s not enough to just tell people about my own experiences. It’s definitely not convincing enough for them to sign up for an outdoor program just by hearing me tell a nice story about how much I love being outside.
People want proof. People want evidence. People want to know the facts.
So I went out to find some….which brings us back to the Journal articles. Still following me?..yes janna i’m still following you
“Every green environment improved both self-esteem and mood; the presence of water generated greater effects. Both men and women had similar improvements in self-esteem after green exercise, though men showed a difference for mood. Age groups: for self-esteem, the greatest change was in the youngest, with diminishing effects with age; for mood, the least change was in the young and old. The mentally ill had one of the greatest self-esteem improvements. This study confirms that the environment provides an important health service”.
That’s a paragraph from the article I mentioned above. Very scientifically written information, but put into layman's terms..or janna’s readers digest version... it is basically saying: 1) being outside improved mood and self-esteem 2) the greatest change in mood happened in younger participants 3) there are very positive effects for mental illness 4) the environment is an important health service
I could have told you that ;) ..and me too. and the best part is you dont need a prescription
But this comes from data collected from a scientific, unbiased, multi-study analysis, so therefore it should carry a lot of weight with other people, right? ...uh, totally, hey janna i really like where this is going
If that’s the case then the following facts, taken from the same article, should also resonate with people:
Many urgent health challenges are connected to sedentary and indoor lifestyles
Physical inactivity results in 1.9 million deaths worldwide annually (1 in 25 deaths)
Preindustrial humans expended 1000 calories on activity per day but for modern humans the average is 300 calories
Inactivity increases the likelihood of obesity and reduces life expectancy
Mental health disorders are known to affect 16% of the general population; evidence shows that exposure to natural places can lead to positive mental health outcomes
From my experience though, people will read those facts, nod their head in agreement, and then do nothing about it.
So how do we get people to change their habits, lifestyles, ideals, etc? I have found that the only way it works, and really sticks, is when they experience it firsthand for themselves.
When someone goes outside, does an activity, experiences the increase in mood and self-esteem, and knows that they did something positive that day for their current and future health, they are more inclined to do it again. And hopefully again. And again. Until it is a lifelong passion.
Bringing it back to my vicious cycle of communication. I have concluded through my experiences that:
If I know something because I have experienced it first hand, people are hesitant to believe it because there is no evidence or “facts” to support my claims
When people read facts and evidence regarding health, lifestyle, habits, etc, they tend to agree completely with it but do nothing about it
People usually tend to make those changes only after experiencing the benefits firsthand
Thus creating the vicious cycle. Because now the person in my example will have experienced the benefits of being outside first hand, be really fired up about what it can do for you, go tell and share their experiences with other people, but then those people will want evidence to support it. See what I mean?.... Maybe this blog post will be a good addition to some evidence and people's experiences ?!
However! Instead of looking at this as a vicious cycle, it could also be considered a growing network. If I get you onboard with my passion for the benefits of being outside, eventually you will want to share that with other people too. And so on and so forth. ...Yes, a network, or community of people who love being outside…
And that, my friends, is what we are all about at GO Adventure Co. Creating that network of GO-ers pumped about playing outside, all the while reaping the health benefits along the way. ..Hey that's what I just said or you said then I said before I read what you said…
So in conclusion, you should probably join our community too; but don’t take my word for it, or the doctor’s orders - just come try it for yourself!
..wow. reading this makes me realize how much Janna and I see eye to eye when it come to our business. im not one for writing but she definitely summed up my thoughts perfectly. and this is why i know we’re the right fit for GO Adventure. so yes if you wanna feel awesome and rejuvenated come join us at GO..