The day begins to wane as you watch the vibrant sunset from the comfort of your trusty canoe, allowing the sun’s fleeting rays to warm your soul. As you paddle along you take note of the tiny turtle family sunbathing amidst a floating log on the nearby bank, and the rhythmic lull of the flowing river as the bow of the canoe bisects the current. You begin to comment on the perfection of the pristine panorama you are beholding, but what is that in the distance obstructing your view…a pile of tires? Unfortunately this has happened to me and many others across the world as we face an epidemic of illegally dumped tires in our lovely waterways, parks, roadsides, and just about anywhere imaginable. As un-anesthetically pleasing as this may be, abandoned tires cause far worse problems to our environment and health. With a little education and effort we can eradicate-or take steps to prevent- the tire pile-up by recycling, re-purposing, or reusing these tires in new and innovative ways.
Have you ever thought about how a trail is actually created? When I first began hiking, I was far too consumed with my natural surroundings to consider the work put in to design and construct a trail. Then I spent a Sunday morning rerouting the Fiery Gizzard Trail with Team Green Adventures, and my outlook on hiking trails was changed forever.
Hiking trails do not just appear out of thin air. They are created with in-depth forethought and are paved by nature lovers abound. Designing a trail requires proper vision with the most sustainable route in mind. Think long-term. How can we design a trail so it can be used for the next 50+ years, with the minimal amount of maintenance needed to keep it safe and functional?
Last week Team Green Adventures partnered with KSA Martial Academy for our first-of-three Intro to Self Defense classes. The mission of Team Green Adventures is to get our Lightning 100 listeners and community members outdoors and active, and we emphasize safety on each of our adventures. For that reason we certify our trip leaders with Wilderness First Aid Training or First Aid Training, open these certification classes to our participants, provide an overview of Wilderness Safety on our Resources page, and finally, educate our audience about basic self-defense skills.
This week’s AdventureBlog recaps our Intro to Self Defense course, based on the ASSERT Program. ASSERT stands for Adrenal Stress Strategy Emergency Response Training. Whereas other self-defense programs focus on logical step-by-step skills for getting out of a self-defense situation, the ASSERT program is catered to the adrenal response system using natural day-to-day movements.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I’ll keep the intro short on this one. It’s always satisfying to look back on another year of adventures, Team Green’s 19th year to be exact, and take some time to think about the people we’ve met and the places we’ve been. To celebrate the year that was, here are our 20 best adventure photos from 2015:
Gift giving can often be a stressful experience, leaving many holiday shoppers with a sense of dread that they haven’t found that perfect gift or that much-desired stocking stuffer. While we can’t tell you what’ll make everyone on your list happy this year, we are here to help you get something cool for the outdoorsy friends and family in your life! Whether you’re looking to just pick up a little something, or you’re in search of that holiday-defining gift, here are a few ideas to get you started:
Now that Thanksgiving is over and December is upon us, ’tis the season to start thinking about winter sports, and there’s no better way to stay active this winter and get in the holiday spirit than to go ice skating! Where, you ask? With five local options for public rink time, there’s no shortage of opportunities to lace up your skates and hit the ice:
There’s no doubt about it, the more time you spend outside, the better you feel. Americans as a whole are increasingly spending more time indoors due to changes in technology and time use habits, with the average US citizen spending 2 hours and 49 minutes per day watching TV, but just 17 minutes engaging in sports, recreation, and exercise, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There are definite consequences of these habits for the mental stability of our general populous. Anxiety Disorders are among the leading mental illnesses in the United States, affecting over 40 million adults in the United States over the age of 18. Among these anxiety disorders are Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
There is no shortage of evidence on the mental health benefits of getting outdoors. In fact, it even has a name now: EcoTherapy or “Green Therapy.” Simply taking a walk outdoors has been shown to reduce depression scores in 71% of participants in a recent mental health study.
October is one of the most beautiful times of year to go hiking. From the vibrant fall colors to the pleasant temperatures, you really can’t go wrong by taking some time to hit the trails before winter sets in. To add an extra layer of intrigue to your hikes this week, check out a few of our local favorite cemetery hikes just in time for Halloween on Saturday!
When it comes to working out, let’s face it, this is an endeavor one either dreads or loves. So, how does one make exercise feel less laborious and more enjoyable? The first and most significant tip to make this happen is to discover activities that are both fun and rejuvenating! While this may appear as a seemingly simple concept to grasp, it is all too often overlooked because exercise is commonly associated with being uncomfortable and restricted to the confines of a gym. Under no circumstances does this have to be the case nor should it be! Below are a few tips to help guide you to a more sustainable fitness lifestyle:
TRY SOMETHING NEW
The world of fitness is evolving every single day as more people are truly beginning to recognize just how much the human body is capable of achieving. A few of the most rapidly increasing trends include Crossfit, Parkour or “free running,” and calisthenics, just to name a few. Think of activities that perhaps you have not tried before, but have always wanted to do, and go for it! Yes, it may feel a bit unnerving at the start, but it is outside of your comfort zone that growth and progress can occur. Embrace the excitement of a new undertaking and hold steadfast to the process.
Remember, no matter the pursuit, it is ultimately enjoyment that leads to sustainability.
GET CONNECTED WITH OTHERS
Along with finding your sport or activity of choice, another important factor is forming connections with others who share similar interests. We all know how difficult it can be to find the drive to workout on our own; thus, with a partner or group, not only does it serve as extra motivation, but this will also help with accountability in both quality and completion of the workout. Gyms and fitness studios across the board are improving tremendously with creating an inclusive environment for prospective members, beginner-level individuals, and seasoned athletes alike. So if you are looking to work alongside others or tap into that competitive side, group fitness may be for you! Lightning 100’s Team Green Adventures is a fantastic option centered around promoting an active lifestyle, community involvement, and encouraging environmental awareness!
However, if convening with workout partner(s) proves to be difficult, there are a plethora of modalities through which involvement with community fitness can still be achieved. With technology and social media evolving at an astounding rate, the possibilities are truly limitless. Facebook fitness groups are a great way to engage with other like-minded individuals. Use this platform to strive towards a particular goal, hold each other accountable and encourage one another along the way to reach success. Other social media avenues such as Twitter can connect you to esteemed fitness icons as well as allow access to the latest in health and fitness trends from reputable, verified sources; Twitter’s defining quality is that it is based upon frequent, constant updates, which ensures that staying current is a non-issue. In conjunction with social media, this day and age revolves around having access to smartphones making phone applications another ideal avenue to stay in tune with staying fit. If time is a constraint (as it is for so many of us), apps such as Sworkit provide high-intensity workouts designed for incorporation within a busy lifestyle.
YOU GET WHAT YOU GIVE
Ultimately, mental and physical progression is dependent upon initiative and effort. The following concept has been propagated in a multitude of ways but still holds true no matter the endeavor, and that is: the amount of progress one makes is a direct reflection of the amount of effort put into the pursuit.
As Maya Angelou simply, yet prudently stated, “Nothing will work unless you do.”
Intertwining healthy habits with one’s lifestyle is a feat in itself and requires balance, and this balance is forged over time with a steadfast approach. Life will present challenges, some expected and some unforeseen, that will disrupt the very harmony you are working towards. This is okay and remember, you are always in control of how you respond! The ability to overcome obstacles is a quality that will enable the achievement of health goals and other facets of everyday life. Along this journey towards a better you, the two defining ideals to keep in mind are patience and consistency. These are two of the most important ingredients for the recipe of success. Take both the trials and triumphs experienced with fitness and apply the lessons learned to other aspirations. Results will not be immediate starting out, and if they are, plateaus or feelings of stagnation may occur along the way, but do not become discouraged. This is all a part of the journey towards bringing about self-fulfillment.
Stay the course, embrace the process, and the results will be sure to follow.
This post was written by guest Adventure Blogger, Copernicus Johnson with Metro Parks’ Centennial Sportsplex. Copernicus is an ASCM certified personal trainer with a B.S. Degree in Exercise and Sports Science from the University of Alabama. Centennial Sportsplex is a metro owned and operated fitness facility including fitness gym, studio classes, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, indoor aquatic center and indoor ice skating rink. Centennial Sportsplex hosts Team Green’s weekly Fitness Workshops the 2nd Sunday of each month at 3pm, and Team Green Members can purchase discounted monthly and annual memberships at the facility! Our next Fitness Workshop: Jungle Gym Bootcamp is on Sunday, October 11th.