FIT FIRST IN FEB
BONDI LIFE, IN A DAY
OUTDOOR WORKOUTS HIT DIFFERENT
They’re not a want, but a need. In a time of mass restrictions, it’s one choice we do still have. To move our bodies outside, to take a moment in our day to go and be and breathe in the elements, is a lifeline to mental and physical wellbeing. A ‘free’ activity, a freeing activity. Available to all. Wherever you’re located. Whatever level you’re at in your movement journey.
THE BENEFITS OF EXERCISING OUTSIDE
Moving within a natural setting and spending time outdoors is proven to provide wide-ranging benefits - reduced anxiety, better cardiovascular health, improved sleep, a lower pulse rate to mention a mere few. Research has shown that access to greenspace reduces levels of salivary cortisol – a marker of stress. Being in the elements can boost vitality, mood, enthusiasm, creativity, pleasure and self-esteem.
In Japan, where shinrin yoku – the art of forest bathing – is encouraged and practiced, studies suggest being out in nature improves immune health and even increases white blood cell count. It comes down to being among trees and having exposure to the phytoncides they release; airborne organic matter with antibacterial properties beneficial to humans and the environment alike.
THALASSOTHERAPY : THE COASTAL CURE
It’s little wonder we seem intrinsically drawn to the big blue. Meaning ‘ocean healing’, thalassotherapy refers to the countless ways in which sea and sand can help restore and soothe and rebuild our emotional and physical wellbeing. It’s why so many swear by a salt-water baptism as a non-negotiable way to begin their day, an invigorating ritual that doctors in the 18th century began to prescribe to melancholy patients as a means to help them heal.
A dip in the sea can stimulate blood flow and improve circulation, reduce inflammation, soothe stress, and boost alertness and endorphins. A cold ocean swim triggers vasoconstriction (where blood vessels narrow), followed by vasodilation, a process that can trigger our systems to release toxins and feel-good hormones. We don’t even have to dive in to reap rewards. To witness waves crashing and receding again can activate the parasympathetic nervous system, slowing down the brain and promoting relaxation.
No doubt, Bondi has something special. The place where P.E Nation began, it’s a creative and healing and energetic and calming place all at once. Its coastal appeal draws us in from far and wide, providing those close enough the opportunity to ‘be’ by the shore. To swim and paddle and surf in the ocean. To run and walk on the soft sand. To ride, skate and work out with the beach as the backdrop. To connect with nature so close to an urban setting by taking the coast cliff route.
All these opportunities aren’t exclusive to one geographical location. We can feel and become a part of this movement no matter where we are. In urban settings globally, there’s a shift towards improving natural spaces, to utilise green exercise as the important health service it truly is. An antidote to the concrete mayhem. A pause from the fast pace. So seek it out. Make time for it. Go out there and grab it.