That's the name of my favourite current Hashtag. REI, the US version of MEC launched this initiative a couple of years ago to encourage Americans to chose to get outside and play, rather than engage in the Full Contact Consumerism that is Black Friday.
I often say that I don't know why anyone would chose to live in Vancouver if they don't want to get out and explore the outstanding natural beauty that surrounds it. It certainly isn’t for the affordable housing and warm climate…
Studies have shown repeatedly that time spent in Green space can help us to rest and recreate, not only to emotionally and mentally recover form stressful episodes, but to shake of the cumulative mental load that builds on many of us through our Monday to Friday routines.
People in this city work hard, so we all need to blow off some steam at the weekends. In many other countries - England where I used to call home the accepted method is to sink a few (ok several) pints after work. Now anyone who knows me will be aware that I’m a big fan the occasional Ale. But knowing what I know, a couple of beers doesn't fit the bill when I’m looking to feel ready for work tomorrow.
These days, if time allows I’d far rather ride my bikes through the North Shore Trails or around UBC, hit up the Grouse Grind or head down to Stanley Park to throw the Rugby Ball around with my mates. I used to think that it was the exercise helping me to relax, little did I know the effect my surroundings were having at the same time.
In addition to the benefits of exercise. Time spent in Green space has been found to help children with attention deficits to concentrate better - Now there’s a population to whom I can relate! (Quick Facebook break anyone?).
This past weekend Mel and I snuck up to Cypress Mountain for some Snowshoeing. Nothing crazy, we both just felt the urge to be in the mountains and the fresh air. The meditative effect of some moderate exercise outside in nature is undeniable. Boy did I ever bounce of bed this Monday when the alarm wen off and it was time to go to work - Despite Tom Brady's best efforts to ruin my Sunday night prep rituals. I had a smile on my face driving to work and a million good ideas for my lucky Monday morning clients (you’re welcome Susan!).
I’m always encouraging my clients and friends to get outside at the weekends, I guess my hope for everyone who lives in Vancouver is that you all get the chance to explore this beautiful West Coast of ours.
Did you know that Cypress Mountain has more than a Ski Hill? There are Kilometers of Cross Country Ski Tracks as well as three (Hollyburn, Black and Brunswick) Mountains you can hike or Snow shoe. NB - always stay on the Trails and Obey Trail Closures. The Rangers are out there looking out for us. But we need to cooperate and not make their job harder than it needs to be.
Whatever getting out and exploring means to you - BC offers myriad choices for anyone - regardless of your desired level of adventure, exertion or time commitment. Get out there and shed some of that 9 to 5 stress.