Spending more time amongst nature over the past few years taught me what a hugely positive effect it has on the psyche – particularly the ability to solve problems, think more creatively and view situations from a different perspective. From there came the idea of combining a coaching session with a short walk in the natural environment.
There are an increasing number of scientific reports and articles evidencing the effects of natural outdoor spaces on mental wellbeing. Here is a quick one to read:
http://This Is Your Brain On Nature
Of course there are also the obvious benefits on the body of physical movement and the release of the ‘feel good’ hormone dopamine. Feedback from Coaching with Walking clients is that the conversation flows more easily and being side by side – as opposed to face to face – makes for a much more relaxed experience. The emphasis is on thinking and talking, therefore it’s essential for you to be able to express yourself clearly and easily, so it’s a comfortable stroll, not a hike.
Walking in green spaces teaches us a lot and many of the principles of nature listed below, link directly to the coaching experience:
Activity and Rest
Recommended locations for us to walk are: Chorlton Ees, Chorlton Water Park, Alexandra Park in Whalley Range, Longford Park in Stretford.
We could meet up at other locations nearer to you, however a small additional charge would be added for mileage and travel time. If you would like sessions to be at locations away from the Chorlton/Whalley Range area, please contact me to discuss.
What about the weather?
Unless it is blowing a gale or raining sideways, we can still do the session. My very first Coaching with Walking session was in the rain, under golf umbrellas. It was no problem at all, in fact it was quite refreshing. However if the weather is just not fun, we can make alternative arrangements so the session still goes ahead, such as a quiet place indoors, or by phone.
If the weather looks a bit inclement, wear something suitable and bring an umbrella. We’re only going to be out for an hour maximum, so you don’t need to go out and buy walking boots.. unless you need an excuse to.
How long is a session?
45 minutes to an hour is the optimum time for a coaching session, in whichever environment it takes place.
The primary focus is the coaching element of course, walking is secondary, so we won’t be going at a marching pace! You decide if and when you want to stop walking – perhaps to look at something that interests you, or if you just want to kick the dirt around for a bit or sit down on a bench.
What if you want to make notes?
Voice recorder Apps on mobile phones are a great way of quickly and easily noting something. Apart from being easier than typing on a phone or writing on paper while you’re outdoors, making a voice recording means you’re much less likely to be critical of or filter your ideas and goal statements.
I do however recommend writing down your goal as soon as you get home and displaying it somewhere you’ll see on daily basis, as well as the actions you have committed to take before your next session. Studies prove that if you write down a goal and put it somewhere you can see it every day, you are much more likely to make it happen. See this short article for interesting details on why.