What is it about the mountain that makes us go to such lengths to spend our free time in an environment that is so alien from our natural habitat? The endless layers, the ice beards and the cold toes.
This is a question that many people who have not had the pleasure of spending time in the mountains ask me. It is a difficult question to answer with words and I usually finish by saying you really must experience the mountains for yourself to understand it.
There is a magic in the mountains that calls us. That call is different for each person. It might be a call to reconnect and switch off. A call to push the limits of what is mentally and physically possible. Perhaps a call to party and skiing is the mode of transport to get you from one bar to the next. The mountains manage to cater to all the above without ever detracting from another activity.
The health and lifestyle benefits of the mountain are one of the biggest draws for me. In a world that never stops the mountains are a refuge, where you can come to relax and reconnect. They are a place of personal growth, where you can challenge yourself both physically and mentally.
There have been many studies into the health benefits that nature brings. To name a few:
- Berman, Jonides, Kaplan 2008: Their research showed that nature helps emotional regulation and improves your memory function. Subjects that took a nature walk did better on a memory test than subjects who walked down an urban street.
- Lee J 2011: Being outdoors reduces stress by lowering the stress hormone Cortisol. Along with reducing tachycardia and hypertension (high blood pressure)
- University of Kansas found that spending more time outdoors and less time on electronic devises improves your creativity and your ability to concentrate.
You can find hundreds of different studies into the benefits of nature for your health. All will be slightly different, but they will all have the same universal outcome that spending time in nature is good for your health.
It is also really good fun!!! Learning new skills with friends on the slopes is truly a fantastic experience and one that I want as many people to have the pleasure of experiencing.
I ask you to take in nature wherever you are. Go for a walk in our local park and take time to look around, you will be amazed when these exact words come out your mouth ‘this is beautiful, why haven’t I done this more’.