Summertime...and the fun is healthy, outside, and easy

A recent set of studies found that people who perceived their physical activity as something “fun” or “relaxing” as opposed to “exercise” were less likely to grow fatigued and more likely to choose a healthier eating option after their activity. Chalking it up, in part, to the reward centers of our brains, Gretchen Reynolds of The New York Times writes about researcher Dr. Carolina O.C. Werle’s interpretation of the study:

Just how, physiologically, our feelings about physical activity influence our food intake is not yet known, [Dr. Werle] said, and likely to be bogglingly complex, involving hormones, genetics and the neurological circuitry of appetite and reward processing. But in the simplest terms, Dr. Werle said, this new data shows that most of us require recompense of some kind for working out. That reward can take the form of subjective enjoyment. If exercise is fun, no additional gratification is needed. If not, there’s chocolate pudding.”  

So, have fun, eat healthy, lose weight, and let’s add to that: get outside. Richard Louv, founder of Children In Nature Network, posts some fabulous suggestions in his latest blog on how to be active while exploring nature. Though his ideas are mostly designed for families, it need not only apply to only kids. Encouraging creativity, curiosity and conservation, following his advice is a no-brainer way to make physical activity enjoyable.

  1. Think Simple
  2. Invite native flora and fauna into your life
  3. Start a Family Nature Club
  4. Encourage your kids to build a tree house, fort or hut
  5. Suggest camping in the backyard
  6. Become aNatural Leader
  7. Find a Guide Book
  8. Join the Children and Nature Network Movement
  9. Relieve your stress

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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