As we launch our new locations and retreats for 2017, one question keeps cropping up: "Can we really do Wildfitness in a city?" In a nutshell, the answer is yes!
In this piece we look to our coaches for inspiration on how to feel Wild in the city.
Traditionally our retreats have, and continue to be, in fantastic locations that provide us with that break from hectic urban lives, noise and light pollution and the everyday hustle and bustle of commuting, traffic and being constantly online. However, we recognise that the other 51 weeks of our clients' year are in exactly this environment!
So we challenged ourselves: how do you get the movement nutrition while living in a city? We found that if we look at our environment from a different perspective then moving more closely to what our bodies expect can be easy and enjoyable, even in the city.
There are myriad opportunities to experience great movement lead by inspirational coaches. We have been under the skin of various cities during 2016, shunning tourist attractions for parks and woodland, giving open top buses a miss in favour of bicycles and kayaks and replacing museum visits with dance studios.
Here are some thoughts for do-it-yourself urban movement:
Chuck the guidebook - Step out of your comfort zone and don’t ask Siri for the best restaurants in the area or where the nearest park is - pop into the local deli or green grocer and ask for recommendations and you’re sure to find a hidden gem.
Get moving in your area - To identify a good spot you need to look at your environment from a movement perspective. Children are generally pretty amazing at this as it's very innate to them so if you need inspiration borrow a kid for the day or hire a Wildfitness coach - same difference!
Find your closest green spaces - These provide the perfect place to unwind, take a post work stroll or go for an exploratory run and see what presents itself. Our cities’ green spaces allow us to connect with nature and, even if this connection is just on a small scale, research has shown this to be highly beneficial to our health.
Look for opportunities - By this we mean find tree branches for brachiating, balancing and climbing, logs for lifting or walls for jumping and crawling on! You can practice skills independently or put them into a sequence.
Fight the fear - Your options are limited only by your imagination. Learning to create a bespoke session for yourself is part of the fun. If you have children then incorporate movement into your free time with them - I’m sure they’ll surprise you.
Take a minute - Create time for a biophilic moment (biophilia meaning our innate love for, and connection with, nature). We believe stopping and appreciating nature can sometimes be more important for us than the movement aspect of achieving balance.
Step away from the electronic device - We are often over stimulated and aroused by artificial stressors and visual landscapes. Sometimes intense exercise is not the answer to combat this; simply turning off is
Socialise - Bring a few friends to make for a fun, fitness filled get together
Get it in the diary - Find what works for you and do it as consistently as possible to find that balance between arousal/challenge and relaxation/recovery.
Sunday Times journalist, Jeremy Lazell took a 'Leap of Faith' with Wildfitness when he joined the team for his first Urban Retreat in Berlin in October. Find out what he had to say about it here!
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We write occasional pieces about our adventures, about our findings related to the Wildfitness approach, about food and we also invite others to contribute.