Martin Pazzani, author of Secrets of Aging Well: GET OUTSIDE. The Fitness You Can’t Get in a Gym offers a clear message that getting outdoors will make you healthier in both body and mind.
Martin describes himself as “compulsively curious about the world” and he continues to prove this statement to be true. Martin Pazzani is an author, entrepreneur, explorer, speaker, and mountaineer who has taken 100,000,000 uphill steps on seven continents over fifty years.
As a person who believes in setting goals and designing your life the way you want, at any age, Martin says, “Goals give purpose. It’s good to know what you want. If it’s a lofty goal, you break it down into smaller pieces so it’s attainable and you build confidence.”
Martin says, “I want to give people the feeling that they CAN take charge in the way they age.” At 66, Martin says he and others in his generation are resisting previous beliefs about retiring and slowing down in their 60’s. Instead, they’re breaking boundaries! “Slowing down is the last thing on my mind,” he says.
Martin Pazzani: The list of benefits from getting outdoors is LONG!
He says, “We are born to be outside.” Our bodies and brains positively respond to being outdoors. Even the sunlight in itself has benefits.
The health benefits from getting outside are also determinants of long-term independence:
- Build leg strength
- Increase bone density
- Improve balance
- Enhance mood/eliminate depression
- Develop better eyesight
- Expand cognitive capability
Walking around indoors or on a predictable, even surface like a treadmill doesn’t require focus, but concentration is required when walking or hiking outdoors. Attention to the surrounding environment and the awareness of the placement of each step brings cognitive benefits.
Before starting a new outdoor regime, Martin advises people to get assessed by a doctor or physical therapist to check for any concerns or limitations. He encourages starting on a treadmill at home or in a gym before getting outside if appropriate. As endurance, strength, and confidence build, the amount of time, distance, and difficulty can be increased.
Maybe a hiker eventually moves to hills, and maybe mountains, but certainly… the view is so much different from higher up!
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