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Into the Wild: 5 Outdoor Activities to Shake Up Your Sedentary Lifestyle

Into the Wild: 5 Outdoor Activities to Shake Up Your Sedentary Lifestyle

Being a working family man is great, but it is also challenging.

Trying to balance the time between jobs and loved ones can be exhausting, both mentally and physically, and a lot of us are not strangers to this. With time passing by, people usually have certain routines and habits engraved deep into their brains, and more often than not, those habits are bad. The workdays are the same: work-eat-sleep, while weekends and free time fall victim to your laziness and sedentary lifestyle, dragging away any chance of excitement, joy, and thrills of life. In the long run, living like this reduces the quality of your life and causes unhappiness, and further down the road, disease.

So what can you do? I believe that the best possible solution is going into the wild and connecting with nature. It will refresh and challenge you, and science has proven that spending time in a natural environment is vital to our well-being. Below, I have prepared a list of outdoor activities that are perfect options for someone like you. Some are more, some are less physically demanding, and it’s up to you to choose. One thing is for sure – none of them will leave you disappointed.

1. White water rafting

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    If you are the type who prefers dynamic, fast and crazy sports, then there is hardly a better option than white water rafting. For those lucky enough to live close to mountainous areas, it should not be difficult to find a rafting club, and there is no valid excuse not to try it. It will give you the opportunity to de-stress in a unique way.

    The quick waters and fast sections of the rafting tour will require focus and take a lot of energy to cross; the more calm parts will enable you to enjoy the surrounding views and unwind.

    One of the advantages of this sport is that it is a group activity, meaning that you can do it with your friends or your family. This can be a wonderful bonding experience, and will increase your satisfaction in life much more.

    2. Bow hunting

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      Some would say that this is the “manliest” thing to do out there, but it is not the reason why I chose this activity. Hunting is one of the primal human means of survival, but it has been made obsolete by modern society. When you go to the wilderness searching for prey, you connect to something deeper within you that has been neglected for generations, and it is a life-changing feeling. There are a few reasons why I recommend bow hunting over using rifles.

      First, it requires some strength to wield a bow, and when you combine that with all the hiking, it will make your hunt a brutal workout. Second, it is fairer to the animals. Bow hunting requires a lot of skill, and the reach of the arrows is shorter than guns, so you will have to step your game up to be able to hunt something. Lastly, it is more fun, so get the best compound bow for yourself, step outside, and discover your ancestral nature.

      3. Kayaking

        Kayaking

        is ideal for all those people who like relaxing and spending their spare time alone, or anyone looking for solitude. If you are one of those individuals, and you have never done this, it is time to give it a shot. The good news is that basic kayaking skills can be learned within a day, and from then on, you are good to go.

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        Of course first, you need to acquire all the necessary equipment. The convenient thing about this sport is that you don’t need to travel far just to reach a river or stream (this a good option of course), but you can also do it in channels running through your town or city. When it comes to physicality, the upper body will do all the work, and you will see significant increases in strength and cardiovascular endurance. What’s not to love here?

        4. Camping

          Need some time away from society? Try camping. Is there anything better than escaping into the woods for a day or two? The answer to this question depends on what kind of person you are, but I am sure that it is hard not to enjoy spending time in the great outdoors. Ultimately, camping is about relaxing, completely unwinding, and forgetting the fast pace of your everyday life. It doesn’t require any physical fitness, and you don’t have to be an exercise enthusiast to do it, but in the end, your muscles will get worked, and you will benefit from it.

          Most of all, this kind of activity offers great chances for socializing with others, whether it be your family or friends. It is also the perfect opportunity to prepare and eat some great food. Spending the evening by the campfire is a unique, unmatched, chill-out experience, and it will prepare you for the good night’s sleep that only nature can offer.

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          5. Rock climbing

            Without a doubt, this is one of the most difficult activities on this list. It requires a pretty high level of physical fitness since it fires up pretty much every muscle in your body. On the mental side, there can be other challenges; talk to some professionals and try out the sport with their guidance. This is an excellent mood and health-improving, as well as a unique, mind-toughening sport, that will make you meet some of your demons, and hopefully, overcome them.

            What do you choose?

            All in all, each of these activities differs greatly, and it is up to you to try them out and see which one is optimal for yourself. Let this article be an inspiration for all those who want to change their life for the better. And don’t stop here; research more, and maybe you will find something else to do. Just make sure that it helps you keep fit and happy, because there’s nothing in life more valuable than that.

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            Dejan Kvrgic

            Blogger, Writer

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            Last Updated on February 21, 2019

            Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

            Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

            Your brain is the most intricate and powerful organ in your entire body. It’s essentially a super-computer with brain power like a Ferrari.

            If you have a Ferrari, would you put cheap gasoline in it? Of course not. You want to put in high-octane performance fuel to get the most out of your investment.

            When it comes to the brain, many people are looking for the top foods that will supercharge the brainpower to help focus better, think more clearly and have better brain health.

            In this article, we’ll look at the top 9 brain foods that will help create supercharge your brain with energy and health:

            1. Salmon

            Salmon has long been held as a healthy brain food, but what makes this fish so valuable for your brain health?

            It’s important to understand that your brain is primarily made up of fat. Roughly 60% of your brain is fat. One of the most important fats that the brain uses as a building block for healthy brain cells is omega-3’s.

            Omega-3’s are essential for building a healthy brain but one of the most important omega-3’s for your brain is DHA. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) forms nearly two-thirds of the omega-3’s found in your brain.[1]

            Omega-3’s and DHA in particular help form the protective coating around our neurons. The better quality this coating is, the more efficient and effective our brain cells can work, allowing our brain power to work at full capacity.

            Studies have shown that being deficient in DHA can affect normal brain development in children, which is why so many infant formulas and children’s supplements are beginning to include DHA.

            Being deficient in DHA as an adult can cause focus and attention problems, mood swings, irritability, fatigue and poor sleep.

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            2. Blueberries

            Blueberries top the list as one of the most beneficial fruits to maximize your brain health and performance.

            Blueberries have some of the highest content of antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins, than any other fruit, which helps protect the brain from stress and promote healthy brain aging.

            Blueberries antioxidant content also help reduce inflammation, which allows the brain to maintain healthy energy levels.

            Blueberries have begun to receive attention for their connection to brain performance.[2] Studies have demonstrated that eating blueberries on a regular basis can not only improve brain health but also brain performance as well including working memory.[3]

            Blueberries not only taste great but are low in calories, high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Manganese.

            3. Turmeric

            Turmeric is a very impressive spice that has well-researched and proven to have tremendous benefits for your brain. Turmeric’s main compound that benefits the brain is called curcumin, which is responsible for turmerics bright yellow appearance.

            Curcumin has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-cancer properties.[4]

            Curcumin increases the production and availability of two important neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, two important neurotransmitters involved with happiness, motivation, pleasure, and reward.

            Curcumin has been well documented to have powerful anti-depressive effects. In one study, it was found to be as effective for depression as popular medications such as SSRI’s like Prozac.[5]

            Curcumin has also been shown to:

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            • Increase blood flow to the brain.[6]
            • Increase BDNF production, a powerful stimulator of neuroplasticity.[7]
            • Increase DHA availability and synthesis in the brain.[8]
            • Increase antioxidant levels in the brain to prevent brain aging and inflammation.[9]

            4. Coffee

            Coffee is the wonderful elixir of energy that many people cherish every single morning. The biggest reason people drink coffee is to get a dose of caffeine.

            Caffeine is a natural neurological stimulant that not only gives you energy but also prevents adenosine, a neurotransmitter involved with feeling tired, from binding in the brain.

            Many people are surprised to find that coffee actually contains a large quantity of antioxidants called polyphenols, which are important for reducing inflammation in the brain and keep your brain energized. The antioxidants in coffee also provide a neuroprotective effect, protecting the brain from stress and damage. [R]

            Coffee can also:

            • Improve alertness and concentration.[10]
            • Help with neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s disease.[11]
            • Reduce your risk of depression.[12]
            • Improve your memory.
            • Provide short-term boost in athletic performance.[13]

            5. Broccoli

            What was your least favorite food as a kid growing up?

            Most likely, broccoli was your answer.

            Broccoli may not have been your top choice, but it might be the top choice for your brain.

            Broccoli contains a compound called sulforaphane. Sulforaphane has been shown to promote the proliferation and survival of brain cells by reducing inflammation and boosting production of BDNF. It has also been shown to boost neurogenesis, the production of new brain cells.[14]

            Broccoli is also loaded with important nutrients Vitamin K and Folate. Vitamin K plays a vital role in protecting brain cells.[15] Folate plays a crucial role in detoxification and reducing inflammation in the brain.

            6. Bone broth

            Bone broth wasn’t just created to combine with soups, you can actually drink bone broth by itself.

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            Drinking bone broth has become one of the biggest trends in the health and wellness industry and for good reason. Bone broth isn’t actually a new thing. Bone broth has been used for centuries as a healing tonic to promote health and longevity.

            Much of the nutritional benefits and value of bone broth comes from its substantial vitamin and mineral content. Primarily calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium.

            Your gut is called your second brain for a reason. Research continually shows that there is a direct and indirect connection between your gut and your brain. Your gut also houses and stores many important brain compounds involved with optimal brain performance. Therefore the health of your gut is vitally important for your brain health and performance.

            Bone broth has become a go-to tool for helping heal the gut and provide the gut with the vital nutrient and resources it needs to heal and perform optimally.

            With the vast amounts of nutrients that bone broth contains, it makes the list as a go-to food for your brain health.

            Look for high quality, organic bone broth for the best results.

            7. Walnuts

            Walnuts are one of the top choices of nuts for brain health. Walnuts also look similar to a brain.

            Amongst the wide variety of nuts available, walnuts contain the highest amounts of the important omega-3 DHA. DHA, as seen above, is a critical building block for a healthy brain.

            Walnuts also contain high amounts of antioxidants, folate, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus, which help to lower inflammation.

            Melatonin in walnuts is an important nutrient for regulating your sleep. Having low amounts of melatonin can make it challenging to get good quality sleep and getting poor quality sleep can dramatically impair brain health and performance.

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            8. Eggs

            For years, eggs were put on the nutritional naughty list; but now, eggs are finally getting the credit they deserve. Eggs can provide a tremendous boost to your brain health and longevity.

            Eggs, particularly the yolks, contain a compound called choline. Choline is essential for building the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine plays an important role in mood, memory, and intelligence.

            Egg yolks contain some of the highest quantities of choline. This is very important because low levels of choline can lead to low levels of acetylcholine, which in turn can cause increased inflammation, brain fog, difficulty concentrating and fatigue.

            9. Dark chocolate

            You’re about to love chocolate even more because chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, is great for your brain.

            Chocolate boosts levels of endorphins, your brains “feel good” chemicals. This is why you feel so good eating chocolate.[16]

            Chocolate also increases blood flow to the brain which can help improve memory, attention, focus, and reaction time.[17]

            Dark chocolate contains high levels of magnesium, which has been coined “natures valium” for its ability to calm and relax the brain.

            Lastly, dark chocolate has one of the highest antioxidant profiles out of any other food, including popular superfoods like acai berries, blueberries, or pomegranates.[18]

            Conclusion

            Your brain is a high performing organ and it uses quite a lot of energy, roughly 20% of the bodies energy demands.

            In order to maintain a healthy brain, you need the right fuel to ensure that your brain has all the nutrients it needs to perform as well as adapt to the stress of life.

            If you want to keep your brain performing well for a lifetime, then you want to make sure you are including as many of these brain health foods as possible.

            More Resources About Boosting Brain Power

            Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

            Reference

            [1] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: DHA Effects in Brain Development and Function
            [2] Canadian Science Publishing: Enhanced task-related brain activation and resting perfusion in healthy older adults after chronic blueberry supplementation
            [3] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Cognitive effects following acute wild blueberry supplementation in 7- to 10-year-old children.
            [4] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin: the Indian solid gold.
            [5] Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition.: Turmeric, the Golden Spice
            [6] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effect of combined treatment with curcumin and candesartan on ischemic brain damage in mice.
            [7] Science Direct: Curcumin reverses the effects of chronic stress on behavior, the HPA axis, BDNF expression and phosphorylation of CREB
            [8] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin boosts DHA in the brain: Implications for the prevention of anxiety disorders.
            [9] PLOS: A Chemical Analog of Curcumin as an Improved Inhibitor of Amyloid Abeta Oligomerization
            [10] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of Caffeine on Cognitive Performance, Mood, and Alertness in Sleep-Deprived Humans
            [11] American Academy of Neurology: A Cup of Joe May Help Some Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms
            [12] American Academy of Neurology: AAN 65th Annual Meeting Abstract
            [13] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of caffeine on the metabolic and catecholamine responses to exercise in 5 and 28 degrees C.
            [14] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Hyperammonemia induces glial activation, neuroinflammation and alters neurotransmitter receptors in hippocampus, impairing spatial learning: reversal by sulforaphane
            [15] Oxford Academic: Vitamin K and the Nervous System: An Overview of its Actions
            [16] Diana L. Walcutt, Ph.D: Chocolate and Mood Disorders
            [17] Health Magazine: Chocolate can do good things for your heart, skin and brain
            [18] Chemistry Central Journal: Cacao seeds are a “Super Fruit”: A comparative analysis of various fruit powders and products

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