I'm inviting you to take a walk with me. I'm actually willing to pay you to walk with me. I'm even going to pay you to take a walk with your dog.
Seriously. We know the information is out there: exercise, especially walking, is helpful in almost every area of mental and physical health. I thought of this while hiking in the woods myself, something I do a bit of but not enough to be therapeutically saturated from. I realized that while I kept "encouraging" clients to go for a walk in the woods, what I really needed to do was take action to show them and myself that walking and talking or walking and thinking are that important to mental health.
If you start treatment with me and you either walk with me for therapy, or walk by yourself for 30+ minutes, I will give you a kickback in the amount of your copay.
You pick the place you want a gift card to and I'll make it happen. If you don't want to bill through insurance it will be 20% of my rate.
I keep talking with my clients and with others about wanting to take clients for walks, but I haven't done it yet, mostly because I was just more comfortable being in my office and it was the way I was trained and have worked so far (for the most part). It just isn't the best form of treatment for many problems and this fact kept bumping up against my consciousness but I failed to act on its truth. Now I am. (Even therapists need to work on stuff!)
Not being active enough doesn't just lead to physical health risks of being overweight. Obesity causes sedentary behavior which then leads to sedentary thoughts which then lead to disorders of a sedentary lifestyle. Not just depression and insomnia, but also anxiety, racing thoughts, indecision, irritability, lack of motivation, short-term reward seeking, listlessness, extended grief and bereavement from loss, and plain-ol crappiness of being.
There are a few caveats. We'll have to meet in the office first and we need to make sure we are both fully aware of the importance of confidentiality and privacy as we walk. If you choose to walk on your own you'll need to do it directly before or after your in-office therapy session, but it will be an honor system.