Today, more so than ever, we’re struggling not only to find ways to spend quality time together but to do so independent of electronics. Countless research studies and articles have warned us of the negative effects of technology. But, it’s simply not realistic to unplug every day. Striking the right balance is harder than it sounds, and short of being marooned on a desert island, not practical.
Balance isn’t necessarily about equal time.
When we’re looking to balance our growing reliance on technology, maybe the key is finding ways to make our unplugged time count. If the moments we’re spending away from technology are more engaging, enriching and just plain amazing, maybe that’s enough?
So, how do we make these less frequent moments resonate and fulfill?
The Mind-Body Connection
Over the past 20 years, mind-body medicine has supported the idea that psychological factors can be a significant facet of treatment for illnesses such as heart disease. There are even clinical trials that demonstrated a connection between mind-body therapies and the successful management of chronic pain conditions such as arthritis.
This means that our thoughts, feelings, beliefs and attitudes can positively or negatively affect our biological functioning. In other words, our minds can affect how healthy our bodies are!
So, when seeking time well spent, and optimizing our disconnected moments, we should look for ways to incorporate both our minds and our bodies.
Why outdoors? Being outside and focusing on our natural environment is a short-cut to achieving a mind-body connection. Something as simple as taking a walk outside can have instantaneous and uplifting results. To really amp up the results, go for a hike. Navigating variable terrain works your body into shape and the sights, sounds and smells of nature work your brain. A 2015 study from Stanford University found that time spent in natural environments, versus busy city settings, calmed activity in a part of the brain that research has linked to mental illness.
Fortunately, St. Louis has no shortage of options to have an amazing outdoor experience. If you love a good view, local and state park systems in and around the city offer a wealth of outdoor recreation activities for all abilities and ages.
If you’re in need of a more intensive digital detox, along with a super jolt of that mind-body connection, go for something a little different…like, zip lining!
Yes, that’s right, zip lining has come to the mainstream. But not just zip lines, if you want to really dial-up the experience, try Go Ape Treetop Adventure. It offers a fully immersive exploration activity, set 40+ feet up in the forest canopy. The course is a mix of high ropes, zip lines and obstacles that will challenge, surprise and engage. Taking anywhere from two to three hours to complete, not only will everyone be grinning from ear to ear, they’ll feel amazingly accomplished for conquering the canopy.
Go Ape in Creve Coeur Lake Memorial Park features a Go Ape Treetop Adventure course. This is a self-guided aerial adventure. Featuring multiple pathways of obstacles, you traverse the treetops, moving from one set of obstacles to another with zip lines. The ultimate adventure, you’ll want the encouragement of your peeps to persevere through this epic course! Treetop Adventure has a minimum height requirement of 4’7’ and a minimum age of 10 years. All kids 10 to 15 must be accompanied by an adult.
Go Ape has a wonderful and extensively trained staff and all participants are required to go through a safety brief to “try out” elements of the course. You’ll get to practice your connections, master a zip line and try out a Tarzan swing all while members of staff are right there with you, so you can feel confident and comfortable with what you’ll be doing out on the course.
Tips to Prepare for a Day of Go Ape Adventure
Make sure you’re ready for a day filled with zipping, climbing and swinging. Best advice, dress for activity! You’ll want to make sure you have close-toed and closed heeled shoes, activewear, hair pulled back and maybe bring those old gardening gloves you have lying around. Don’t worry if you don’t own gloves; Go Ape sells inexpensive gloves at the check-in.
With any outdoor activity, staying hydrated is very important. Go Ape has you covered there too, offering water throughout the course so you won’t need to lug around water bottles.
What makes an outdoor recreation company like Go Ape stand out is the fact that they are mission driven. The mission? To inspire everyone to live life adventurously. Go Ape revenue shares with the public parks they call home, reinvesting directly back into the local community and strengthening the legacy of our public park systems.