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.
So here we are, one week away from Valentine’s Weekend. If you’re like me, you probably lost track of time and have found yourself cutting it close without plans!
Don’t freak out.
It’s not too late to take advantage of some great deals for a fun-loving weekend with your sweetheart (or best friend)! This week’s Adventure Blog is a follow up to last year’s “Valentine’s Dates for Outdoors Lovers” blog (which still has some valid tips!)
The holidays are notoriously the most stressful time of year. Let’s face it, the demand for adulting is high, when all we really want to do is revert to the innocence of childhood and just enjoy it.
The holidays don’t have to be quite so stressful, however. A little planning and a lot of self-care will do the trick, according Drs. Michael and Cassie Major of Major Family Chiropractic, who hosted Team Green’s Holiday Stress Management Workshop this past week. The theme of the workshop was “Overcoming Joy Stealers,” which is exactly what this week’s Adventure Blog summarizes.
It never really occurred to me until now: What is Black Friday?
Unofficially, Black Friday is the first day of the Christmas shopping season. It got it’s name in the 1960s to designate a time for retail stores to move from the “red” (losing money at the end of the year) to the “black” (breaking even or making a profit). High-priced items were marked down so steeply, or must-have gift items were debuted for the first time, leading to quick sell-outs. As the years progressed, shoppers “learned” from their losses and changed their behavior to start standing in line earlier, which eventually led to stores opening their doors sooner. Chaos ensued, and the behavior has become ingrained in the American culture. Now, Black Friday deals often aren’t much better than usual sale prices, and the holiday spirit is lost among the shoppers.
Let’s go back for a moment to the reason Black Friday began: to move retail stores from the “red” into the “black.”
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.
If you’re new to the Southeast, there are probably many geological features that shock you! I, for example, was shocked by the number of waterfalls in Tennessee, and it took me nearly 3 additional years to realize just how many caves we have access to! Some sources report there are as many as 9,600 known caves in Tennessee, and that doesn’t even take into consideration the caves only two hours from Nashville in Alabama and Kentucky!
Lightning 100’s Team Green Adventures not only explored one of these many caves in late July, we camped underground in it—an especially refreshing experience when cave temperatures remain a constant 54-57 degrees year-round! In the spirit of such an exhilarating adventure, this week’s Adventure Blog spotlights some of our favorite caves, and favorite cave features!
By the summer of 2013 I had completed three half marathons in just over a year… and I swore I was giving up running in favor of the bike forever. Then, I was approached by Soles4Souls and RAGNAR Relay Tennessee about a possible partnership, and the idea of running again sparked a new fire inside me.
Let me get one thing straight: If I have to choose between running shoes or a bike, I’ll take the bike every time. I do not love running; I also don’t hate it. I’m slow (about a 11 min/mile pace), and I’ve done enough of it to offer up some sound advice for others who like the idea of running but need extra motivation to do it.
RANGAR Relay Tennessee is currently my motivation.
“Reality is the leading cause of stress.”
Ain’t that the truth!
If you have no stress in your life, you probably aren’t living your life to the fullest. Remember, not all stress is bad. Stress can be motivating and inspiring. Stress can create adrenaline, which works to sharpen your mind and body. Stress can put your reality into perspective. Even bad stress can have good outcomes when you make an effort to reflect upon its meaning, and its source. However, it’s important to also understand the toll stress takes on your body, and thus it’s contribution to negative stress levels.
Each month, Lightning 100’s Team Green Adventures offers a Wellness Workshop. When the topic is really good we’ll write a recap (see also Indoor Air Quality & Sugar Cravings recaps). Our workshop in June was one of those really good ones! We brought in Dr. Cassie Major of Major Family Chiropractic to discuss the different types of stress and their effects on our body.
For the past 9 years, I’ve been shamelessly bragging about how I’m not allergic to poison ivy. After all, 15% of Americans are resistant to the stuff. Despite being an avid adventure seeker and crawling through my fair share of wilderness, I’ve never had a reaction before! Well, as it turns out I didn’t really know what poison ivy was this whole time, and now I look like this:
CURB YOUR SUGAR CRAVINGS
Last week we hosted our most successful Wellness Workshop yet, which really wasn’t surprising since the topic was about SUGAR! We invited Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, Amber Roberston with BlissHolistic (who also teaches several of Team Green’s Nutrition Workshops the 3rd Wednesday of each month at the Nashville Farmers’ Market). Not only did she offer three great tips and a challenge to go along with each one, she also provided some gluten-free sweet-snack recipes without refined sugar. This week’s Adventure Blog recaps all of it!
The first, and most important, thing to understand about your sugar cravings is that often your mind is misinterpreting what your body is trying to tell you. When you experience a craving, before you choose to feed that craving, first step back and think about what your body might actually be saying.