Why Venture Outdoors?

By: Jacob Tumminello

For many of us, the most time we spend outdoors comes from transitioning between cars and buildings, if that even counts.  As we continue to develop new technological advancements to make our lives easier, we have slowly begun to remove ourselves from the outdoor environment to shift towards safer and less demanding settings. 

We as a species are less challenged to obtain food which is now carried by large machines to our destinations, and we spend most of our time sitting or sedentary.  Millions of people are damaging their eyes and backs sitting in front of computer screens for hours each day, and some individuals spend little to no time outdoors.  

 Although the removal from our once hostile environments has many advantages, it has also created problems for individuals who struggle to maintain a proper balance of outdoor exposure and indoor refuge.  Many health and social science specialists have taken a closer look at the disconnect between modern societies and the outdoors.   

From cultivating creative inspiration to increasing your physical health, here are five reasons to Venture Outdoors.   

Physical Health 

There are many ways simple exposure to the outdoors can benefit your physical health.  Warm rays of sun provide your body with Vitamin D, an essential nutrient for stabilizing mood.  The oxygen outdoors can be much purer than the air inside your home which, despite your best efforts, can still be filled with dust and dirt particles.  In combination with the sun and clean air, walking the streets or hiking trails is a very moderate form of exercise which provides cardiovascular support as well improving leg muscles.  

 

Mental Health 

Everyone has a method for clearing their heads on a stressful day, but one method proven to work universally is outdoor exposure.  Along with your physical health, your mental health can also be directly affected by the elements.  A break from the monotony of the indoors reminds us of our childhoods relieving stress and boosting our mood.  Many people make use of the natural environment’s ability to soothe the senses.  The sound of water falling creates a blissful ambiance.  The scent of warm, damp earth reminds us the exciting summer months approach, and few people can witness a shooting star without marveling at the mysterious wonder. 

 

Social Exposure 

With people spending more and more time online, it can be easy – especially for younger generations – to develop poor communication habits from lack of face-to-face interactions.  For children, much of this development takes place outdoors.  Becoming familiar with community builds a sense of trust with others and leads to strong relationships.  Though the internet provides an adequate social forum, face-to-face interaction is a completely different form of communication.   

 

Return to Center 

Regardless of your spiritual beliefs, there is much evidence to suggest that human beings once rose from the very waters we now pollute.  Since this is evident in the positive interaction between body and earth, we can begin to understand how essential outdoor exposure truly relates to humanity. 

The molecules that make up our bodies are the same that make up our environment.  The water in our bodies is the same as the streams, the iron in our blood the same as the stone, and oxygen in our lungs the same as in the sky.  While our efforts as a society take us farther from the outdoors, finding balance reminds us of our “roots”. 

 

A Creative Advantage 

Sometimes the greatest cure for writer’s block is a break from the monotony which – in this case -happens to be staying indoors for too long.  Sprawling landscapes, endless horizons, and the mysterious sounds of wildlife can often stimulate creative inspiration which cannot be found within the confines of rooms and buildings.  A simple nature walk can create feelings of nostalgia from childhood and a morning stroll can change a stressful commute to a sightseeing adventure.  Familiar surroundings can take on completely new appearances providing inspiration from once overlooked places. 

 

Venture Outdoors offers a variety of activities year-round activities from snowshoeing to kayaking on Pittsburgh’s rivers.  Whether venturing alone or with Venture Outdoors, the organization has something for everyone.  The Venture Outdoors team is eager to share outdoor experience, so if you find yourself seeking new and exciting ways to spend time outdoors then call or visit us at ventureoutdoors.org to start your next adventure. 

 

 

 

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OUTDOOR News

  • The Forty Sixers Club

    May 15, 2018

    By: Sara Cardamone

    In July of 2016, Sophie was looking to try something new. She had already planned to get away from the world for a while and decided to head to her grandparent’s house in upstate New York. Surrounded only by the sights and sounds of nature, it was the perfect place for her to relax and truly spend time with herself. As the end of the school year approached, her grandpa sent a message to her and her sister mentioning a club that he had heard a bit about called the Forty Sixers Club. The club was centered in the Adirondacks and the only way to get in is to reach all 46 high peaks in the mountain range. 

     » Read more about: The Forty Sixers Club  »

  • The Beautiful Truth behind Kayak Pittsburgh

    May 8, 2018

    By: Stephanie Capilongo 

    Stephanie helps secure at PFD on a toddler “We’re not selling an object, but rather an experience.”

    Once a fashion major, I relied on material things to give me comfort. I have long forgotten that outlook and believe the experiences I have had in the outdoors is what has given me confidence to encourage others to do the same.

    Throughout the last two years of working at Kayak Pittsburgh I realized how the things you’re passionate about can also be your job. Maybe it’s the constant dose of Vitamin D or the eager customers. Regardless, there is never a dull moment.

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  • To Fish or Not To Fish

    May 1, 2018

    By: Patrick Panasko  

    Fishing Along North Shore

    “Raise them on the water with a fishing pole, not in the house playing video games” 
    -Bill Dance. 

    When you see the North Shore of Pittsburgh you see sports stadiums where big catches are made by professional athletes. The sport of fishing can offer a more valuable catch to kids and adults alike. Over the past 16 years Venture Outdoors has hosted TriAnglers Lunch Time fishing. 

    Many inner city youth and adults do not get the chance to go fishing and enjoy the pleasures of it. 

     » Read more about: To Fish or Not To Fish  »

  • Restorative Practices in an Outdoor Setting

    April 24, 2018

    By: Beth Zabiegalski   

    As an organization, Venture Outdoors does some really awesome and exciting things with local youth in after-school and summer programs, getting them outside for the first time or teaching them something new to do in nature. Most of our outings are a couple hours or less, but when we build meaningful relationships with our students, we create formative outdoor experiences with memories that last more than just that afternoon. 

    Last month, I had the opportunity to attend a two-day Restorative Practices Training through Venture Outdoors’ partnership with Pittsburgh Public Schools. I’ll admit I had next to no idea what to expect,

     » Read more about: Restorative Practices in an Outdoor Setting  »

  • Spring Inside

    April 17, 2018

    A Day a Phipps 
    By: Sara Cardamone 

    Now that Spring is finally here, so is the rain! In Pittsburgh, sometimes it can be hard to find ways to be in nature when it is rainy and muddy. However, there are tons of fun alternatives if you look hard enough! Since I’m a student at Pitt, I pass Phipps Conservatory all the time but I always felt like I never had enough time to stop in. Fast forward to now, the first big rainy day of Spring was upon us and I was struggling to find a calming activity to take my mind off of school and then it hit me.

     » Read more about: Spring Inside  »

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