You don’t start a new business that involves a multi-day walk in the wilderness unless you like walking. But our love of stepping it out isn’t only attributable to our love for the bush and being amongst nature. We know first hand how great you feel after a good walk. The fact that ours involves getting up close and personal with unique Australian wildlife and absolutely spectacular scenery is merely an added bonus.
As owners of 28 hectares that borders a stunning estuarine river, we first started bush-walking right here at home. After an hour of wandering through beautiful eucalypt forests, along trails frequented by lyrebirds and wallabies, you just feel so….well…..good! Just like anybody, and particularly when the winter starts to move in and your bed is such a warm and cosy haven, we sometimes have to push ourselves to get up and into walking clobber and head out into the cool air. But within minutes, we are rewarded. Mist is rising off the trees as the sun slowly evaporates the dew. Two little wallabies are sitting under the bottlebrush down the road and scamper off as we close in. Lyrebirds squeal in fright as we get a little too close to their hideaway. The air is clean. Crisp. Alive.
The health benefits of walking are well documented. The National Heart Foundation has endorsed walking as the number one activity that is accessible to almost everyone; regular walking is known to help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, help manage weight, strengthen bones and reduce the risk of fractures, and improve balance.
The National Heart Foundation states that walking “also helps you feel stronger, more energetic and happier and improves your overall quality and enjoyment of life.”
Most people are aware of the need to do regular exercise and follow a healthy lifestyle to keep their bodies in good condition. Many may not realise how walking – particularly walking outdoors and amongst nature – is also a wonderful and easily accessible way to help deal with certain mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety. As the Black Dog Institute outlines, “regular exercise may increase the level of brain serotonin, a neurotransmitter involved in regulating mood, sleep, libido, appetite and other functions.”
“Exercise can also increase the level of endorphins in the brain which have ‘mood-lifting’ properties….Numerous studies have shown that people who exercise regularly experience fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety than those who do not exercise regularly.”
When you think about it, it’s not surprising that walking and other forms of regular exercise help alleviate symptoms of depression. Through regularly pulling on the walking shoes and heading out for a hike, you increase energy levels, improve sleep, create a distraction from the usual day-to-day worries, and increase self-esteem as you look and feel so much better.
In yet another report, conducted by Beyond Blue, the added benefit of exercising outdoors is clear: “Growing evidence shows that access to the natural environment improves health and well-being, as well as preventing disease and helping people recover from illness. Experiencing nature in an outdoor environment can help tackle mental health problems, obesity, and coronary heart disease.”
So the evidence is there. The jury has returned its verdict. Absolutely anybody and everybody should make getting outdoors, exercising regularly and breathing in the clear and clean air we are so fortunate to enjoy a part of their day. Every day.
We enable even inexperienced bush-walkers the chance to get outdoors, breathe in the fresh air and enjoy the most spectacular coastal scenery in Australia. All you do is walk with day pack. We do all the rest.