My column today focuses on a personal trip to California to make an annual backpacking trip to the highlands of the Sierra Nevada Mountains with a friend in California.

However, this July experience was especially important as we missed 2020 due to a pandemic.

As mentioned in the previous column, both our physical and mental well-being have a direct positive effect from movement.

Nature and the outdoors can really provide the rest you need from your daily life. And, as we know, over the past year, many of us have spent more time indoors, with less human contact outside our immediate family.

Planning a backpacking excursion is always a bit tricky as you bring everything in and take it out. But the idea of ​​escaping into the loneliness of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and Ansel Adams Wildanes provided all the motivations needed.

This was especially relevant after the pandemic so that we can look back on what happened in the last year and a half.

As a public health expert seeking to educate the general public on the topic of health promotion / disease prevention through scientific evidence and best practice approaches, the fact that we lost more than 600,000 people at COVID is of particular concern. bottom.

The backpack experience was really one of the most physically difficult, but the fact that you could camp at 9,000 feet before the 10,500-foot peak and didn’t encounter any other soul for almost four days is the world today. I offered the tranquility that I rarely encounter.

Escaping reflected the importance of living to the fullest of life and was given time to think. To give the reader an idea, I’ve included some photos that I visually experienced during my backpacking adventure.

Not everyone has the physical strength and stamina to make such a journey, but we are physically in an environment where we can go out and provide support to improve our physical and mental health. You can carry out activities.

The Tallahassee and Big Bend areas are blessed with parks, green roads and other natural areas, giving you the opportunity to appreciate the beautiful environment that surrounds us.

Take the time to improve your physical and mental health by all means possible. Activities range from walking and cycling to mindfulness practice and yoga. All of this depends on your abilities and preferences.

This is especially important as we are considering returning from a pandemic to a more normal life (taking into account the ever-increasing concerns of the delta variant of COVID-19).

Remember to practice safe COVID-19 precautions. Follow science-based sources and avoid false information.

Consider vaccination seriously, as the majority of people who are seriously affected (including those who have died) are unvaccinated individuals. According to the latest reports, Florida is one of three states that account for more than 40% of new COVID infections.

Access to a recent advisory report on health misinformation by the U.S. Surgeon General, Confront misinformation about health: US Surgeon General’s Recommendations for Building a Healthy Information Environment

Some of the past columns that provide information on mindfulness and physical activity can also be accessed at the following links:

activity: Research supports the importance of staying active for cognitive health | Mahony

stress: Try a careful approach to coping with stress during a pandemic | Mahony

Dr. Mark A. Mahony has been a dietitian / nutritionist for over 35 years and has completed a graduate degree in nutrition and public health from Columbia University. He can be contacted at

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