Stepping Into Summer With Mindful Fitness
Updated: Jun 12
At long last, the unofficial start of summer is here. As someone who lives in Chicago, I can tell you we're always looking for signs of summer. As the warm weather comes, we shed our winter blues and start spending more time outside, only to find that we can all too easily fall back into being unmotivated and listless in summer.
The great thing about summer is you can stay fit without being confined to a gym. There are plenty of ways to get out and be fit in nature. The added benefit is that going outdoors can help awaken your senses and elicit natural mindfulness. Read ahead to see how. Let's go have an adventure!
Take a Walk
There have been plenty of times Therapist Glenn Sevier has espoused the benefits of his signature program, Walk-N-Talk™ Therapy. Walking or hiking can be a great way to stay fit and healthy in summer. One piece online really hits it home with the relatable title, "Meditation Wasn't for Me Until I Tried It While Hiking."
Why is this title so relatable? Because so many people believe meditation or mindfulness is hard to access in everyday life. On the contrary, mindfulness is simply being awakened to every moment in which we exist...even while we’re walking.
And it's not a constant epiphany. All you need to do it be aware of the moment you're in...whether it's dreadful or amazing...and rest in the full awareness of wading through all your emotions.
Corey Buhay, the author of the article, "Meditation Wasn't For Me Until I Tried It While Hiking," writes, "I fully believe that regular meditation is an effective tool for millions of people. I also know that there’s great power in being still. But for me, seated meditation seemed to amplify my anxiety rather than reduce it."
This is the gist of mindfulness while walking. You could be taking an epic hike or a brisk walk through your neighborhood. Regardless, when you're walking or hiking, your body is engaged, which may help make your thoughts seem less overwhelming than when you're seated.
Make a Splash
If you live in a climate that makes the water inviting in summer, you know that even walking to the edge of a lake or ocean or river can make you more mindful. As soon as you hear the waves lapping against the shore or feel the salty or sandy breeze on the back of your neck, you're automatically awakened to the fact that opportunities to be mindful surround us every moment.
A 2017 New York Times article shares a quote from Terry Laughlin, who founded Total Immersion Swimming. According to Laughlin, "Swimming can also be an immensely rewarding opportunity to practice mindfulness. By swimming mindfully, we can transform routine lap sessions into an immersive form of moving meditation."
The New York Times piece suggests setting out with a clear and focused attention before swimming. Next, they recommend moving forward by zeroing in on what you feel with each stroke you take.
Make Fitness Fun with Friends
Another way to get zoned into mindfulness is to enjoy summer physical fitness in the form of competitive activities with friends.
The focused nature of competition encourages attention to each moment. Combine that with the camaraderie of playing a game with friends and you've got a natural combination of fun and fitness.
Some fun ways to stay fit with friends this summer include:
Baseball or softball
Hiking or biking with a buddy
Going to the gym with a friend
Renting a canoe or kayak
Dancing at a local concert or music festival
As summer continues...and eventually comes to an end...we should remember the importance of fitness and mindfulness in both mental and physical health. And please, remember to adequately hydrate too!
About Walk-N-Talk™ Therapy
Therapist Glenn Sevier, LCSW, was the trailblazer for Walk and Talk Therapy when he founded Walk-N-Talk™ Therapy in 2003 as an innovative way to assist his high school students to engage in their counseling sessions. After seeing the positive effects it had, Glenn created and incorporated the Walk-N-Talk™Therapy modality into his private practice as an effective method that was welcomed by clients. Since then, the initiative and similar movements have grown to be embraced around the world, offering a promising new way for people to traverse the twists and turns of their mental wellness journey.
For clients, this style of therapy has several benefits. It puts physical and mental distance between the client and their stress-causing environment and it inspires self-awareness, physically and creatively. The nature component is conducive to the client’s lifestyle and opens the senses to the client's natural settings, be it lakefront or forest preserve or city parks and streets. Clients have reported experiencing a sense of calm, clarity, focus and energy following these sessions.
Walk-N-Talk™️ Therapy addresses the following: Mental Health - * Anxiety * Anger Management or Conduct Disorder * Attention Deficit Hpyeractivity Disorder (ADHD) * Chemical Dependency * Depression * Grief and Loss * PTSD and Trauma Healing Physical Health - * Lower Blood Sugar * Lower Cholesterol * Lower Blood Pressure * Decrease Stress and Anxiety Authentically Human; Not AI-Generated To learn more about Walk-N-Talk™ Therapy and how it can benefit you, contact Glenn at 773-512-8813 or send an email at [email protected]. You can also check out Glenn's website (www.AdvancePotential.com) for more details about the physical, emotional and mental effectiveness of this innovative approach.