National Parks Week is April 22 – 30. It’s a celebration of everything “parks” and your opportunity to get outside and celebrate the great outdoors. There are nearly 400 national parks in the U.S., each one unique in it’s own way. There is literally something for everyone as 312 million recreational visits were made to the National Parks in 2022.
Full-time work crews, Park Rangers, and volunteers keep the National Parks accessible and usable. These people are exceptionally skilled at preserving the integrity, natural beauty, and environment that make travelers want to visit the parks year after year. The parks allow us all to hike, fish, explore, camp, photograph, climb, and enjoy many other activities in the beauty of nature.
Have you considered the natural resources available to you right where you are every day? Do you take advantage of the great outdoors?
Longevity and the Parks
The National Park Service provides a great service in many ways – including contributing to healthy longevity. It is a well known fact that spending time in nature offers many physical and mental benefits in a variety of ways including exercise, fresh air, and relaxation. While being in nature offers many benefits, if you want to be able to enjoy all of your remaining decades, including spending time in the great outdoors and the beauty of our environment, your health must be your top priority. Here are two ways to help optimize your outdoor experiences:
First, heighten your senses.
Your senses include your sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste, and intuition. Barrett Hedges is an award winning National Geographic photographer, photography tour guide, and founder of Bearheadphoto.com. He has said that it’s important to “keep your senses sharp when you are in the wild. You need to have an exit plan.” You can keep your senses sharp by keeping your nervous system healthy. This will enable you to fully enjoy the elements, resources, environment, and terrain while keeping you alert to potential hazards as well.
Second, make your FitNESS a priority.
If you want to be able to get around better and be more active in the parks or the environment in general, your FitNESS is vital. Remember The 100 Year Lifestyle acronym using the NESS in the word fitness—which is Neurology, Nutrition, Endurance, Strength, and Structure.
In addition to keeping your senses sharp, a healthy nervous system will keep your muscles strong and your organs adapting to the challenges and stresses you may encounter in nature. This includes changes in altitude, temperature, weather, and terrain. Good nutrition, including good hydration, will fuel your explorations. Endurance and strength training will give you the confidence and stamina to do more. And a healthy structure, spine and skeletal system will help to prevent injuries and contribute to your longevity in being able to enjoy the outdoors.
The components of FitNESS are important to Barrett who hikes, kayaks, and climbs in the wild for weeks at a time. “I can’t afford to be sick, injured, or slowed down. I like to get adjusted whenever I can. Chiropractic lifestyle care makes a big difference for me.” Keeping yourself balanced and neurologically healthy is important regardless of your age or current activity level. This way, when the opportunities arise to enjoy nature you can capitalize on them to the max.
Taking care of the planet and our natural resources is important for quality of life today, and for future generations. The same is true for you and your health. Follow these suggestions and find a 100 Year Lifestyle provider near you to help you on your journey. Then you will be able to enjoy the environment with your loved ones for 100 years and beyond.