I love hiking in the woods!
I love that I'm getting some endurance exercise, I'm nature-bathing, I'm breathing fresh, clean air, I'm checking out from modern society, and it feels like a moving meditation. To be honest, I also feel like a little kid when I'm in the woods. It reminds me of when I was little and, you know, in the 70s when parents let you go off all day, I would spend hours in the woods imagining a whole world there.
For me, hiking is a major part of my lifestyle that boosts my health on multiple levels. AND it's fun too! Perfection!
And just because I love hiking, doesn't mean you will.
I encourage you to find those things in your life that are nourishing to YOUR health.
For you it could be spending the day on a hammock reading books. For someone else it could be going out dancing every Saturday night. For others it could be playing with the grandkids.
The whole point of using lifestyle practices to enhance your health is that you enjoy them! Forcing yourself to meditate is not necessarily the best thing for you. Yes, sometimes we need a little nudge to do things that are good for us, that are not our regular habits or that take a little effort.....but ultimately once you start, you should feel really, really good about it.
Generally, the main goal of lifestyle health practices these days is to unwind, relax, relieve stress, slow down, chill out, have fun, pamper yourself, etc. If that involves physical activity then that's fine. If it involves being lazy, that's fine as well.
Most of us are WAY overdoing it. We over-glorify busy-ness in this culture to our detriment. I often tell my clients/patients that I'm writing a prescription (I'm not a doctor so this is the only kind of prescription I can write) for them to take one day a week to do absolutely NOTHING. Of course this is shocking and many people resist this idea. Where have we come that we can't take one day off?! In Europe they do this well. On the weekends you see the parks filled with families having picnics and playing around. We need to do more of this!!
My justification for taking some chill-time to do what you enjoy is that it WILL actually make you more productive during the week. If you are always grinding away you can't reset. And if you can't reset, you will burn out.
So, take some time to chill, have fun, relax, do what you love. Fill your life with passion!!
Some cool lifestyle practices that can enhance your health include.......
Hiking (had to put that first)
Taking hot baths or chilling in a sauna or steam room
Taking walks or spending ample time in nature
Any hobby or passion that you enjoy and is not too stressful
Going to the beach, the park, museums, etc
Sitting around and doing absolutely nothing
And then there are these practices, which may take a little discipline, but are definitely health-promoting.....
Having a life purpose
Being authentic and true to yourself
Being passionate about one or more things in your life
Getting at least 7, and no more than 9, hours of sleep each night
Having appreciation and love for your life and the people around you
Checking out of media, turning off your phone, TV, computer, Ipad, etc
Avoiding overeating or under-eating
Trying out new things
Making time to spend with loved ones regularly
Removing "toxic" people from your life
Listening to your intuition
Addressing any really bad habits such as smoking, excessive alcohol, over-achieving, being an "angry martyr", etc