Growing up, I always enjoyed being outside. We lived in a small town with large backyards and ample woods that warranted exploration and other outdoors pursuits. I had parents that encouraged me to be outside and often took me hunting and fishing. I didn’t give very much thought to staying inside on a beautiful, warm day or even a cold one for that fact. When you live in Canada, you get plenty of both.
Something happened though in my late teens and early twenties. As things got more complicated by the demands of adulthood, I withdrew from the outdoors; starting my slow descent into a sedentary life. “Finding religion” when it came to technology didn’t help either. Combine that with a two hour commute, the adjustments required of a new marriage, and going through a period in your life when you generally felt sorry for yourself and you’ve got a recipe for trouble. It’s a wonder I even looked out a window.
Adopting a Paleo lifestyle has allowed me to break the sedentary life I once lived. I had tried traditional exercise regimes in the past but the emphasis on repetitions spent at maximum effort quickly turned me off. How was a guy stuck in an office chair, slowing clogging his arteries, going to get up the gumption to do what Mark Sisson calls “chronic cardio”? Instead, the Paleo emphasis on just getting out and doing something, anything, at your own pace allowed me to ease myself back into my love of being outside. Not only do I want to be outside but I also want to get the rest of my family outside and involved in outdoor activities. My mother’s oft yelled refrain of “Get outside already!” is hardly ever heard on a nice day here.
If you’re where I was even a year ago, you know you need a change but you’re intimidated by the jocks at the gym. I understand, I’ve been there. The good news is, if you have even a halfway decent pair of athletic shoes you have all that you need to begin. Commit to yourself that you’re going to go outside every day. You don’t need to run a sprint or lift weights, walking is an excellent place to begin. Being outside in the sun is one of the most therapeutic things a Human can do. In time you may feel like doing something more but you can cross that bridge when you come to it. I look forward to my time outside so much. It is a treasured part of my day and I’m disappointed when I can’t do it.
Just remember to have fun, pace yourself, and do what you’re comfortable with. A great resource for outdoor activities that don’t require anything more complex than you and your athletic shoes is MovNat. MovNat is a blog about getting exercise in the outdoors without the need for fancy machines or overpriced gyms. Once you rediscover your love of Nature, this site should be your next step.
So get outside already! It’s a beautiful day and time is wasting.