We often take walks in natural environments for more reasons than just the exercise. We’ve found that putting ourselves in nature provides many subtle benefits beyond physical fitness.

Even if you get out for just 45 minutes in the middle of a hectic day, amazing things can happen. For one thing, it’s natural, like we all are. Our bodies were meant to be in a natural environment. We are perfectly designed to walk, rather than sit all day.

Changing our venue from the abstract, man-made world to the natural world can recharge our batteries on many levels and make us more effective when we get back to work. Rather than losing the time it takes to go for a walk, we actually make up time by making better and quicker decisions.

We enjoy increased productivity the rest of the day. Our attitude and the quality of our decisions also improve.

Just a short walk in nature uses all of our senses. Walking inadvertently requires the use of many human faculties not required in the office. Here are some benefits we have found to taking a walk in the park:

1. Refocus Your Eyes. Take note of the natural surroundings. Looking at flowers, trees, lakes and landscapes takes our vision from the myopic 18-inch focus we need to see our screens, to the depth of field needed just to stay on the path. Changing our focus mentally and physically gives our eyes a chance to do what they were designed to do and helps them relax. When we get back to work, we “see” the difference.

2. Refocus Your Attention. We try to forget the office for the duration of the walk and take note of our natural surroundings. We think about our breathing, balance and posture. We are out of the chair, on our feet and moving. The natural world unfolds before us and passes by as we propel our consciousness down the trail on our own two feet. Giving our attention to our natal relationship with the earth unclutters our minds. We know our concerns will still be there when we get back, but by then we will be better prepared to think clearly.

3. Listen to the Sounds of Nature. Water flowing, birds singing, and wind whispering through the trees are music to ears that have heard only voices, beeping, phones ringing, and road noise all day. Natural sounds are soothing. They help us relax, like we are home, and we are. It’s peaceful and calming. Instead of deliberately shutting out all unwanted sounds to concentrate, we try to make out as many different natural sounds as we can.

4. Clear the Mind. Sometimes we actually prevent solutions and insights from getting through to us because we are focused on our own hypotheses and preconceived ideas. The brain is a marvelous faculty. It is working on our problems even when we apparently are not. Often synergies, elegant solutions and insights pop into our brains suddenly during and right after a nature walk.

Reboot your brain, find solutions, and nurture your health. It’s a simple walk in the park!



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Who We Are

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey Barefoot Wine Founders

Michael Houlihan and Bonnie Harvey co-authored the New York Times bestselling business book, The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand. The book has been selected as recommended reading in the CEO Library for CEO Forum, the C-Suite Book Club, and numerous university classes on business and entrepreneurship. It chronicles their humble beginnings from the laundry room of a rented Sonoma County farmhouse to the board room of E&J Gallo, who ultimately acquired their brand and engaged them as brand consultants. Barefoot is now the world’s largest wine brand.

Beginning with virtually no money and no wine industry experience, they employed innovative ideas to overcome obstacles, create new markets and forge strategic alliances. They pioneered Worthy Cause Marketing and performance-based compensation. They built an internationally bestselling brand and received their industry’s “Hot Brand” award for several consecutive years.

They offer their Guiding Principles for Success (GPS) to help entrepreneurs become successful. Their book, The Entrepreneurial Culture: 23 Ways To Engage and Empower Your People, helps corporations maximize the value of their human resources.

Currently they travel the world leading workshops, trainings, & keynoting at business schools, corporations, conferences. They are regular media guests and contributors to international publications and professional journals. They are C-Suite Network Advisors & Contributing Editors. Visit their popular brand building site at www.consumerbrandbuilders.com.

To make inquiries for keynote speaking, trainings or consulting, please contact sales@thebarefootspirit.com.