THE SCIENCE OF COACHING OUTDOORS

 

The human brain and our unique cognitive skills developed over hundreds of years in the presence of permanent movement. From an evolutionary perspective the human body is designed to walk up to 12 miles per day unlike our current obesiogenic environment where we remain stationary for over 8 hours.

 

Heading outdoors for coaching conversations combats the insufficient daily activity in our sedentary lifestyles. This physical movement immersed in nature also supports a change in mental state, encouraging creative thoughts, innovative positivity and overall wellbeing. 

"Physical exercise is cognitive candy”

John Medina

John Medina, molecular biologist focuses on brain development in his book Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home and School, and outlines an American study with links between elderly 'exercisers' (opposed to 'couch potatoes') and elevated cognitive performance in long-term memory, reasoning, attention and problem-solving skills, along with notable cardiovascular benefits). He concludes that, if all you do is walk several times a week, your brain will benefit. Discover more about his work in this blog post here

 

This consensus in the global scientific community consensus is reflected in the British government's recommendations to minimise time spent sedentary, and to engage in a minimum of 150 minutes aerobic exercise sessions a week. Learn more with the NHS's physical activity recommendations for adults here.
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Benefits of Exercise

  • Regulates appetite. 

  • Improves quality of sleep.

  • Enriches cardiovascular system.

  • Reduces stress.  

  • Decreases risk for heart disease, Alzheimer's (by up to 60%), stroke and diabetes.

  • Develops bones and muscles; increases strength and balance. 

  • Increases energy levels. 

  • Improves blood flow to providing oxygen, glucose and metabolic products to the cells.

  • Encourages the creation of new brain cells. 

Benefits of Being In Nature

  • Improves mental health and mood.

  • Strengthens immune system.

  • Combats Seasonal Affective Disorder.

  • Maintains healthy levels of Vitamin D.

  • Lowers blood pressure.

  • Restores focus after time spent at work.

  • Develops awareness of wider environment and environmental change.

  • Boosts creativity and improves memory.

  • Encourages taking breaks and physically distancing from work.

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© 2020 by Anna-Marie Watson

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