Get More Out of Your Trail-time Using “Environmental Integration”
One of the great benefits of exercising outside is the experience of connecting to the natural world around you. This process of connecting mentally and physically to nature is what I call “Environmental Integration”. Awareness of your environment keeps you safe on the trail; it also promotes a feeling of “oneness” with the natural world around you. Nature becomes both a guide and a companion.
In Outdoor Fitness and the Rendezvous Trailside Wellness program, you learn to adopt the laws of nature to your workout and your mindset. You learn to “go with the flow.” You don’t conquer a mountain, battle a tricky path, or fight your way through tall grass. This approach puts you at odds with your environment, and leads to rigidity, tension and stress. Instead, you let go and relax. Like a bird in the wind or a fish in a stream, your body and mind flow freely with the forces of nature, the elements and terrain you encounter, gravity itself.
The key to environmental integration is right in front of your nose. Actually, it is your nose, as well as your eyes and ears, your hands and feet, and even your inner “gut,” or instinct. When you’re exercising outdoors, you’ll have the chance to be in constant sensory contact with nature. There’s so much to absorb:
• Visual: Lightness, darkness, textures, colors, movement, scenery, sky, objects
• Auditory: Chirping birds, water flowing, lapping waves, cracking twigs, rustling leaves, sound of your own breathing
• Olfactory: scent of trees, flowers, rain, the sea, dirt, animals
• Intuitive: Following a hunch, having a deep feeling about something, relying on your inner resources
Tuning in to your senses—including your powerful intuition—will deepen and expand your experience on the trails. You’ll feel confident, connected and part of a much bigger world—the natural world.