Friday, 29 October 2010

Get Out of the House!

One of the great advantages of living up here in Canada (other than the freezing winters and boiling hot summers ;-) is the beautiful autumn colors...

So over the past few weeks I've been hiking up in the Gatineau Hills, located just over the provincial border in Quebec, about a 20 minute drive away.  These hills are full of marked hiking trails, beautiful water falls, amazing rock formations and spectacular vistas.  

Most of these pictures are from a family hike we do every year on Canadian Thanksgiving.  This trail was a 4 Km circular route with easy climbs and great scenery - which explains why lots of families were out that day.  

That was much different than another hike I had done a few days earlier with an ex-special forces friend of mine whose idea of hiking, as you might imagine, is a little more rigorous!  That hike took us up 300 meters from our starting point and at times that climb was steep enough that we were using our hands to grip the rocks.  But what a view!  And a great feeling when you finally got to the top.

Advantages of Hiking:

To name just a few advantages of getting yourself out of the house and into uncorrupted nature:

  • You get genuinely fresh air (or as close as we come to that on earth these days!) and that does wonders for your energy level
  •  It lets you "push the envelope" a bit and get some really good exercise, especially cardio and leg muscle work
  • Changing up your exercise routine by throwing in an good hike in the wilderness keeps things interesting
  • It's a learning experience - you can learn all about the "flora and fauna" of the area, especially if you have a knowledgeable guide

The Taoist longevity tradition claims that raised areas such as hills, mountains, escarpments, etc. are great sources of Qi.  What better place to practice some of your deep breathing and Qi Gong?  

So no matter what the time of year or where you live, try to find some time to get away from it all and enjoy a hike in the natural world.  You'll feel truly energized and more resilient!

~ Dr. Symeon Rodger

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