11 best reasons To Run or Hike Holistically Without Doing Nothing Extra For It!
We all know that exercise is good for us. In particular cardiovascular exercises like running or hiking. However, put 2 runners or hikers together on any given moment and within no time the topics of the conversation are injuries. Statics show that at least 75% of all runners and hikers suffer at least one injury once a year. That can’t be healthy, right?
Running and Hiking holistically goes beyond the ordinary and is because of that healthier than most styles of running or hiking. It basically means you’re choosing to run free and in the process heal your body, mind and soul through natural remedies.
What’s unique about this way of running and hiking is it doesn’t approach it as ‘just running or hiking’, a purely physical and time-obsessed activity. Instead, it observes the whole picture, not just the body and technique. Shifting focus from the biomechanics to fun and joy as primary motivators. Not because it-suppose-to-be-like-that, or because people say so. No… just because you’ll notice almost instantly how much more it will give you in return. Including that fun and joy all runners and hikers talk about.
Here are 11 reasons why you might consider a more holistic running and hiking life:
1. It makes you practice mindfulness.
Running and hiking in the moment is one of the most important values of holistically running and hiking. Not wasting any energy about what has happened in the past or what the future will bring.
Try to see things as they are, without the judgements ‘good or bad’. They don’t exist. I admit that is not very easy, yet neither impossible. It was one of my bigger limiting struggles in life. Until a couple of years ago when I met the award-winning author (The Grass Is Greener Right Here) and spiritual teacher David Ault, during a weekend seminar in Switzerland. After his contribution to the seminar and the conversation I had with him, I understood how much energy I was wasting on… Yes, on what? Well to be honest, on things that I couldn’t change, or things I didn’t want to change. So why bother?
2. You start to recognize and respect the communication skills of your body.
Famous is the expression “Your body is a temple, and you should always take care of it”. Although it’s a powerful apparatus, I don’t see it as my temple. Sure I take very good care of it. Only not because of its so-called powers (it’s not a superhero or something), but because it’s flawless ability to tell me what is going on INSIDE of me. And no, not only the bad things but also good things. Learn how to tap into these communication skills of your body, and use it to your advantage.
For instance meditation (I’ll come back to that later). It helps to relax and helps you feel connected with all around you. Because in the end, we are all connected, We Are One Life.
3. You can eat as much clean foods as you like.
No doubt, we all know that eating clean and healthy helps to keep your body strong and without issues. But it does even something much more important. It keeps your head, your mind calm… To hear your body talk to you, to feel connected, to be in the moment and to make good decisions, you need a calm head right? Ready-made food, fast food etc.. is packed with sugars. We all know what sugars do to our body. Well, the same and worse it does to our head and our mind. Does that mean to get rid of all the sugars? You can of course, but I know out of experiences that is very, very difficult. In today’s society, it is close to impossible.
Better go slow on sugars during the day and do your own, homemade cooking. Try to do a Plant-Based Diet and you’re set to go. And if you add some meat to the dish, please try to make sure it’s organic.
Homemade cooking is known to make people happy. Plus, you know exactly what you’re putting in it. My girlfriend Heike is a graduate in Switzerland Holistic Health Expert. She has on her side many good, simple and very healthy recipes.
4. It makes you focus on positive relationships instead of negative relationships.
Simply said, you’ll start to appreciate (even more) positive relationships because of what they give you: energy!
Unfortunately, everyone can get into a fight with their colleagues, friends, family, partners, etc. Sometimes things just don’t work out, and you got stuck in an endless loop. To simply apologize, fix the problem and go on sounds maybe very nice when we say it to our children, but most of us know this will leave a bit of bitter aftertaste. I strongly encourage you to take a different approach, one where you really can get over some things and forgive.
Anger always comes from fear so try to see arguments or fights in the light of love. Relationships always come on our way with a reason. Mainly because all participants can learn from one another.
Being negative and angry in life can only lead to stress, difficulties, and In the end: injuries (and even sickness!) No one wants that. Therefore I suggest the ‘rule of 3’: 1x is a coincidence, 2x’s can happen, 3rd is a pattern and…..time to act!
5. You learn to increase your energy.
Don’t overdo yourself and push yourself to limits. There’s absolutely no reason for that. Unless you are an Olympic Athlete of course.
More often than not, people are way too obsessed by time, “I need to run a marathon under 4 or 5 hours!”, “We better hurry if we’d like to take that section before it gets dark…” Resulting in that we completely stressed and worried that we cannot focus anymore on the joy and sense of feeling free. If you truly want to run or hike holistically, you will have to let go of time.
The first difference I noticed when I finished my first ultra-trailrun compared with a road-races I finished was the type of question I got. Crossing the finish line at road-race (5K’s, 10M’s and marathons)I was still trying to catch my breath, the first question someone launched at was, “What was your time?” Crossing the finish line at an ultra, not only trying to catch my breath, more trying to keep my cool and holding it all together, the first question was, “how was it, did you enjoy it?”
Let’s be honest, who cares if I ran a marathon in 4, 5 or even 6+ hours? To most of the people I would mention this don’t even know of what I did was fast or slow. Why should they, it’s my cup of tea. But running long hours gives me at least the time to stop and smell the flowers, enjoy the scenery and connect with people. Plus, once I cross a finish line I still want to have some energy left in me to party!!!!
Knowing how to increase energy is a pretty cool and healthy way of running. Don’t waste it because you-need(like)-to-proof-something. It’s not a p%$@g contest to see who can go the furthest… Slow down, have fun and let your heartbeat do the rest. Guaranteed you’ll have more energy than what you’ve started with! And in case you want to be with likeminded and pick a cool race to join, you’ll need the energy in the end to party 😉
6. It will make you learn and grow.
You don’t have to do sh%$! other than just what your DNA gave you. That is to put one foot after the other, watch your personal heartbeat, accept you being part of everything (remember, We Are One Life) and enjoy the scenery. Of course, no doubt that you will face learning moments. However, on those inevitable moments, you have 2 options (or actual 3, you can also quit)
The first option is to see these moments as struggles, sacrifices or other doom scenarios. If you do so, please prepare yourself also accordingly. The 2nd option is to see these as learning moments. And also here, please prepare yourself. But this time for a massive boost of confidence and self-love.
7. You will love and enjoy life to the max.
“To Give and To Receive are one in Truth”. Life is a turning wheel of never-ending presentation of opportunities. What is presented to you today, was set in motion already a while ago. Try not to remind yourself about that consciously all the time. Better be relaxed about it and know that what you think will unfold to you afterwards.
Jane Goodall said, “You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” Since We Are One Life, that means you’re also making a difference to yourself.
In other words, the more love and joy you have, and so give. The more love and joy you will receive. No exceptions! Ah yes, sorry, there is one. To give within the back of the mind to receive, doesn’t work. That is not giving, that is trading, doing business. There’s no balance as it always leaves someone with something less. This giving, just as the receiving, must be completely selfless. No strings attached.
8. Holistically running or hiking will be your hands-on connection between body, mind, soul and world around you.
It’s like connecting the dots. And before you think, “I don’t know how”, don’t worry, it’s in your DNA. You just have to remind it, nothing more. It’s like waking up after a long, long sleep and trying to remember how it was before you went to sleep.
9. You will learn to be (more) aware.
Like said before We Are One Life. That is nice, yet it will be a useless thought if we are not aware of our impact and our surrounding and to learn and grow from it. Ask yourself every time you go out there. Either for a small training, a race, a multistage marathon or hike, “how much am I willing to receive?” Let the thought go, enjoy what you were planning to do and let things unfold themselves in their natural way.
10. You will be alone with your thoughts, so meditate.
Meditation can be delicate, but it will improve your life significantly. Yet not everyone can sit and meditate. I am one of those. My monkey mind (Yoga and meditation term) will go on and on… Holistically running and hiking are very good alternatives. Because in every run or hike there will be moments that you are completely calm and alone with your thoughts. Learn to dedicate these moments to meditation.
A nice side effect is when the going gets tough, so to speak. Concentrate on your breathing or start counting on every 2nd tread. This is also an old ultrarunners trick to escape certain negative states and shift to more positive states and attitudes. That same trick can easily be used to get into a meditative state.
11. You will be more active and creative
No problem to do your weekly run or hike, and spend the rest of week Couchsurfing and watching TV. However you are building up energy and that has to get out, one way or the other. In fact, you will probably build up so much more energy, that a weekly run or hike probably won’t cut it anymore. The easiest thing to do would be to add more distance or more days. However, sometimes agendas simple don’t allow it because of work or family. Luckily there are plenty of simple solutions to get rid off excessive energy.
For instance, if the weather allows it, you might consider to go to work biking, or even running. Or if you take the bus to work, you might consider get off a few stops before and walk the rest. The stairs instead of the elevators.
Years ago I was working at Royal FloraHolland (Dutch flower auction) in Aalsmeer. For about 3 years I biked at least 40 km, 5 days a week. But during the summer I took it a step further and, instead of biking, I ran this 40 km at least once a week. That didn’t cost me any extra effort in terms of time, ’cause I had to go there anyway. But it sure helped me big time to get rid of my excessive energy.
Hopefully, the reasons I mentioned will give a pretty good idea what holistic running or hiking is about, and (more important) what it can do for you. But there is one reason that I haven’t mentioned, and I’ve done that on purpose. ‘Cause it’s the sum of all the above reasons and my personal # 1 reason why I run holistically:
It gives me that sensational feeling that I am completely free!
Take care and till next time