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How Incorporating Nature into Your Lifestyle Can be Beneficial For You

Getting fit and healthy can be done in so many places, from working out in the comfort of your home, sweating out at the gym facilities, to exercising outdoors.

Nature is free therapy, some studies suggest that being outdoor can provide soothing effects such as improving mood, boosting the immune system, and increasing anti-cancer proteins.

“Being outdoors in nature can be healing and beneficial for the body and mind,” says Erica Price, a certified therapeutic recreational specialist at Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital.

We’ve talked to a couple of people to share how they incorporate nature into their lifestyle. And Sofia Trinidad, a 23-year-old Architecture graduate, and licensed freediver, and Alfred Amorganda III, a former Mixed Martial Arts fighter and surfer, will prove that being outdoors can be beneficial for you.

How did you discover your love for your current sport or hobby?

Sofia: It started when my cousin, who’s also a freediver, introduced me to freediving back in 2018. We would drive from Dumaguete to Dauin just to go to our diving spot. I learned to love it that I spent my whole summer learning about it.

Alfred: My friend’s brother was into surfing, he introduced it to us. I didn’t have a surfing board at that time. My friend’s brother just lets us borrow his. Eventually, I fell in love with the sport. I drive to Dumaguete from Bayawan [which is an hour and 30 mins drive] just to surf. My friends and I even went to an Island in Surigao for a week just to catch some waves.

Photo by Sofia Trinidad

How was your current hobby different from exercising indoors?

Sofia: I tried cycling indoors, and it was boring. It’s just different when you’re exercising outdoors and get to see the view.
Alfred: Definitely different. When I was training, I learned both wrestling and jiu-jitsu since you need to know those two components to compete. You have to train and do everything for months just for one night [of competition]. It was boring compared to surfing. When you’re at the beach, it’s fun that makes you forget everything.

Photo by Stephen Wong

Have you always been drawn to nature?

Alfred: I was always drawn to nature as a kid. I lived in Bayawan, a rural place surrounded by trees and mountains.
Sofia: As an introvert, I was seen more indoors than out, but when I joined the Danjugan Island Marine Camp, it made me love nature. It was a 4-day camp where Marine biologists and scientists educate us about marine life. They would introduce us to different marine creatures and their roles in the ecosystem. The fun part was we swam and found the fishes and other sea animals that we were tasked to look for. And I got more interested when I knew the environmental effects and learned what I could do to help with my learned hobby.

I learned that we need to protect more of our ecosystem. I learned to appreciate and love the seas when I started.

Photo by Sofia Trinidad

In what ways did your sport/hobby become beneficial for you/your lifestyle?

Sofia: It was beneficial for me both physically and mentally. It’s evident in my physique that I grew a lot stronger and healthier. It also made me mentally healthy since it’s a requirement for any freedivers to have a calm presence to be able to relax whenever you swim deep into the sea. And I was an introvert before I only started socializing with people now that I’m trying to teach my friends and even new-found friends how to free dive.
Alfred: Although I was fitter before when I was still training for MMA, there’s just that freeing feeling when you surf. It’s fulfilling when you’re able to stand on your board and riding the wave. It’s really a good exercise. There’s no timeline to train, you just have fun.

How will you convince those people to try to associate their daily lives with nature?

Alfred: They really have to try it. It’s hard to explain the feeling especially when you catch the wave, the feeling is indescribable. They have to try it to be able to experience it.
Sofia: Try to be more connected to nature because you’re too drawn to your career or other things that you sometimes forget what it feels like to be with nature. Live like you’re a part of this community [which you are] to understand the need of the environment for protection. And influence others to do the same.



This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.