The modern day art of movement known as Parkour, was born amidst the streets, rooftops and classical architecture of France. However, the art of running freely, devoid of and overcoming obstacles is not new. People have been running like this for eons, in the early days to avoid predators and catch food.
At some point in history some misinformed individuals thought it better to live slow, unmoving and mostly sedentary lives. For a species born to run this was like a missile to the soul. No wonder metabolic diseases like diabetes and mental disorders like depression have crept in and taken hold in our lives. But there may be a way to combat it, and that is to do what we were born to do…run free.
Those suffering from depression often describe the experience by likening it to being buried under a mountain, to being saddled by some unbearable burden or by being drowned slowly beneath a torrent of water. It renders them immobile, unmoving and unmotivated.
Freerunning is a way to express oneself through movement, to literally and metaphorically overcome obstacles and to live in the moment. It is closely linked to Parkour, which is more about effective movement through any environment, but Freerunning involves more focus on expression through movement.
On a biochemical level, practicing freerunning gives the user a boost of adrenaline to complete a task, run or pass an obstacle. However, the real benefit occurs after the fact. Regardless of whether or not they even got over an obstacle they experience a huge dopamine dump. This gives them an overwhelming sense of happiness and accomplishment.
In particular, there’s mounting evidence that ‘Green Exercise’, that is; exercising outdoors in nature, has an enormous positive effect on mental state and a persons’ ability to handle stress.
Parkour and Freerunning are a fantastic way to get out into nature, train your body and, your mind!