Did you know that the average American walks 1.2 miles a week? That’s right, not a day but a week. Think about it. An individual wakes up in the morning and gets ready for work walking around their house. They walk out to their car that is parked as close as possible to save time. They drive to work and get the closest possible parking spot to the front door. Take an elevator to their office and sit down at a desk for hours. Take the elevator down to the cafeteria and reverse the same order coming home. When they get home it is leisure and relaxation with the remote control and the 52” flat screen television with the NY Yankee and Boston Red Sox game on. (With the Yankees winning of course).
All seriousness, this is an extremely disturbing statistic that confirms the fact the United States has become a lazy society as a whole. Not that you and I are lazy, but in International eyes, we are considered to be football watching couch potatoes. When I was on my 130 mile hike on the Appalachian Trail; I bumped into two international thru-hikers. There was one from Japan and one from Norway. They both said that their perception of Americans are exactly what I stated above, football watching couch potatoes. They were both impressed with the Americans that they met on the AT because they realized that we were fast and in good shape (they had an ah-ha experience).
There was a study done that state the most beneficial form of exercise of all is hiking. First benefit is fitness. Hiking could be as strenuous as you make it. I remember taking Nick up a fairly advanced hike and he being shocked on how challenging the hike was. Second benefit is it is a low impact exercise so even if your body may have some aches and pains, you will be alright. Third and the most forgotten is the fact that we are in the environment that we are meant to be in. People are hunters and gatherers by nature, not to be stuck in a cage (office) for twelve hours a day. We need to be outside to breathe in the fresh air, connect with our natural self, appreciate the beauty that surrounds and get away from the harmful electro-magnetic energy that surrounds us 24/7.
In closing, I met a woman who was in her high 50s, about 5 foot tall, about 110 pounds carrying a 40 pound pack on her back hiking 2100 miles on the Appalachian Trail. She said that she didn’t know why but she needed to do this. She felt like she spent her whole life captive in doors and needed to let her self free. Her way was to re-connect with nature via the AT. I challenge all of you to not get to that point. Go outside and walk around the park at lunch, plan it after work or block off some time to appreciate nature. Take the family on a hike without cell phones, iPod’s, Nintendo DS’s and enjoy nature together. I had the perfect fathers day one time. I rode my mountain bike in the morning with my friends, hiked up a mountain with the whole family and picnicked at one of the nicest views on the Hudson Valley. There was a moment of silence where my whole family just embraced the beauty and was completely present. One of my most memorable moments that will be with me to the end. I challenge you to create yours.
Written by Paul Melella of Empowered Mastery
Empowered Mastery is a personal development and business coaching company who's goal is to continue to create innovative uncommon coaching programs for professionals and entrepreneurs.