If you want to keep fit but hate the idea of going to the gym because of the steroid driven ambiance, there is a solution for you. You might have read the bumper stickers on car ‘Green Gymers do it outside’; this sticker says a lot about gym-averse people find the cost or the artificial setting of indoor gyms and health clubs.
Green gyms help a lot in keeping fit, healthy and unwind because of the natural ambiance and zero-fees facility.
Sessions are led by trained facilitators, take place twice a week at varying times of day (weekends too) and involve a warm-up session of gentle exercises, two and a half hours of physical work in a natural fresh-air environment (generally gardening or conservation), a tea-break halfway through, then a wind-down session of movement and relaxation at the end.
You could also enroll in a local ecology project such as restoring ancient buildings or heaths, tree-planting, hedge-laying, fostering rare plants or animals, helping build a conservation pond for a primary school, mending old dry-stone walls or just take up some adventure sports.
If you are really interested in community welfare and wish to see your own work being appreciated, receive thanks and good feedback from the communities or individuals you’ve helped, this idea is the best for you.
Green gyms tap into the biophillia hypothesis, which states that a powerful need for contact with nature is a part of being human, and if you are deprived of it – perhaps when living in an urban environment and working in a sealed office away from natural air and light for most of the year – your well-being can really suffer. Luckily, taking the nature cure can go a long way towards reversing this for you.
The system is proving especially popular with men of all ages and from all walks of life and you might also find some good women devoting their free time to these communities. 70 per cent people lead sedentary office-based lives and have never worked either manually or outside. And people seem to really like doing it: the drop-out rate after six months is only 30 per cent, compared with more than 50 percent for health-club or indoor-gym memberships.
What else is it good for?
Green-gyming also supports weight loss and body sculpting – i.e. better abs, gluteals and biceps from all that lifting and digging. It is a better form of exercise – burning up a third more calories than a step aerobics class and improving staying power in all areas. It also helps reduce stress and anxiety levels. It improves heart rate, bone density, stamina, mobility and helps lift depression. Most importantly, it increases self-esteem
So what are you waiting for, the nature is calling you, step out and think green!