It’s more than just the benefit of fresh air and exercise...though that said, it certainly stimulates my appetite.
But is also an opportunity to think and reflect, or even to think about nothing at all.
Of course thinking about nothing is one, one of many it has to be said, definitions of meditating. So you’d have to call my strolls that as well.
This thought inspired me to consult Ms Google (surely such an all-knowing search engine has to be a female!) on the benefits of a walk in the country.
Unsurprisingly, urban environments can be mental minefields. There’s traffic, staring at screens, phone calls and constant demands on our attention - all of which leave little time for reflection.
Researchers reckon the enticing sights and sounds of nature conjures up what they call a “soft fascination”. I’ll quote how they’ve described this lovely term.
“Rather than overwhelming it with the energy-sapping “hard” stimuli of urban environments, natural settings gently engage the brain while allowing it ample space to ruminate in the background on life’s quandaries and complexities. In other words, it lets your mind off the hook for a while; going for a walk allows your brain to roam along with your body.”
Now the business groups we host at The Sheds invariably include a daily if not twice daily stroll along our tracks, across our farmland and though our beautiful bush country.
The feedback from group participants is that they come back with a clarity of mind, a lightness of spirit, and attack their meeting tasks and exercises with real enthusiasm.
I shouldn’t be surprised. I experience exactly the same reinvigoration.
In fact; and it’s one of those factoids that occupy my brain; apparently the positive effects of a single exposure to nature can last for seven hours after an individual has experienced it.
Heck, I wonder how I can monetise such benefits?
I love that others can freely experience nature and her bounty up here in the Tararua’s