As you can see from my list of interests, I love getting out of the big smoke and into the wilderness. It is easy to forget that despite living in the middle of a city of approximately 12 million people, we are so close to some of the most amazing natural environments in the world. You don't have to live in a huge city like LA to feel the benefits of exploring the natural world.
There are any number of benefits found with climbing, hiking and backpacking in the wild. Here are just a few:
There are many many ways to unwind as there are people unwinding. And of course many of us tend to think of relaxing as involving little physical effort, something like sitting on the couch watching the TV or a night spent playing party poker. Paradoxically however, one often gets far deeper relaxation by actually getting involved in physical activity. It is possible to really get a perspective when you spend a weekend walking in the mountains, and climbing leaves no room in your head for fret and worry about anything other than the next foot or hand hold.
We constantly seem to be reading that Americans - and in fact the people of every developed nation - are swelling to unimaginable levels of overweightness. Part of the problem is that we just don't need to exercise as part of our daily routine any more: only lunatics walk to work or cycle (especially in Los Angeles). Spend a good bit of time in a National Park, and even the most exercise-averse people will find themselves getting fit while actually enjoying it.
How can a walk in the woods affect creativity, you might ask? Well, firstly with climbing, mountaineering and to an extent hiking, you really have to use your brain when working your way up a rock face. You have to figure out where the best place is to put you hand, and where the most stable foothold. You should also find that when you get home. The brain works better having been emptied it of its day-to-day concerns, and you'll be able to think you way around problems whatever they are.