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Climbing, hiking, walking … and step into nature

At the age of 89, Anne Lorimor of Phoenix is ​​a poster girl for the benefits of coming out and communicating with nature. In July she returned from climbing the Kilimanjaro – the highest peak in Africa.

Oh, and for the for the second time.

In 2015, at the age of 85, she set a world record for the oldest woman to do that. This time she completed the record for the oldest person ever. She will make the Guinness Book of World Records, but that is not even the best part, she said Senior Planet. The achievement, she hopes, will continue to draw attention to her non-profit organization, the Child Empowerment Foundation, a pay-it-forward mission that helps children in need. When she became a celebrity of Kilimanjaro, the donations increased. And she hopes it will continue. For more information about the climb of Lorimor and her charity, visit Creating Exciting Futures.

Don't believe us on us: here is Anne.

Making the climb

The climb itself was both sweet and challenging. Everyone wanted their photo to be taken with her; the hashtag #ImwatchingAnne has surfaced. "It took 9 days to go up and down," she says about her group of eight. Only later did she find out why her chest hurt so much. A fall just before the climb had left her with three broken ribs.

Although not everyone is able to climb the 19,331-foot Kilimanjaro – or wants – Lorimor says it's important to stay as fit as possible in mind, body, and mind. "Nature and being outside can help, she knows.

Research suggests that she's doing something, where experts think they can get out into nature, even after just 20 minutes, reduce stress hormones and help people relax. The immune system can also be stimulated, which can translate into less disease.

And your hobby outside does not have to include mountains If you are looking for an outdoor activity that does not require Kilimanjaro fitness, we have some ideas

Swimming … where ??

Forest swimming may be something for you Sometimes called forest therapy, it is not about bathing and, yes, you participate fully dressed. lead the trips, which are in forests or urban botanical gardens. The practice in Japan is decades old and is called shinrin yoku, which translates into & # 39; going into the forest & # 39 ;.

& # 39; I took people in my eighties on my walk & # 39 ;, says Ben Page, who founded Shinrin Yoku Los Angeles and is program director for the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy, an organization that guides. "You don't need any kind of fitness." There are more than 700 guides in 46 countries.

"Part of the magic about forest therapy is its inviting nature," says Page. The sessions start with the participants who introduce themselves and then the invitations. This can be a & # 39; body scan & # 39; relax muscles from head to toe and absorb the sights, sounds and smells, such as waterfalls or nearby plants. A walk through gardens or the forest is another typical invitation, just like sitting in a pleasant natural environment. A tea ceremony, where participants share their thoughts, usually ends the experience.

The forest pool has become popular with older adults, Page says, especially walks in urban arboretums, which often require little travel. Many rediscover their long-ago attraction to be outside, he says. "One of my colleagues took a man on a [forest bathing] walk that was & # 39; 80 in his 80s," says Page, "and he was in tears at the end." He told the guide how he felt "re-connected" with nature.

A woman who came swimming in a forest outing had a walker with a chair. "She moved very slowly," says Page. "Often the group went faster than they did." But that's great, because people can choose their own pace, he says. "She was very grateful that she moved," he says. And at the end of the walk, she thanked him and said, "All movement is good movement."

Other ways to get into nature

Another option that is suitable for all fitness levels is the Sierra Club, which offers local walks and offers options on fitness for fitness. I f communicating with nature solo is not your thing, your city can be one of the 500 locations with a chapter Walk with a Doc. T o find a guide for forest therapy, search here.

How are you connected to nature? Gardening? A walk in the park? Camping? Tell us in the comments!

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