Updated 10/8/23; Originally posted 7/18/21
A wellness oriented lifestyle helps you live a life full of energy, vibrancy, creativity, patience, focus, and love. Wellness is by definition a personal endeavor. Everyone’s wellness journey looks different and evolves through phases of life. Today another wellness story unfolds! You get to meet Kent Burkhardsmeier and hear how his self care practices have impacted his health and wellbeing.
Kent and I met while enrolled in a course together so we could help our businesses get found online. We co-create a series of blog posts about Meditation and Nature to help bring the whispers of nature into your daily wellness practices.
Kent has time to focus on his wellness so that he can do what he loves for longer and feel better not older.
If parts of his story sounds like yours, be sure to read my 3 wellness lifestyle suggestions at the end of the interview!
Kent’s Wellness Journey
Q 1: How many balls do you have in the air? — Describe your work and family life for the past year. What lifestyle struggles are currently at the forefront of your mind?
Kent: I’m a creative, empty-nester currently managing life through a pandemic. As a traveling landscape photographer, I’ve had to refocus my creative energy while staying home during the pandemic. I began writing poetry inspired from previously taken photographs. This led to self-publishing two poetry + landscape photography books in lieu of traveling. A year later, my wife (of 36yrs) and I are on the road – in our newly acquired RV – capturing images with nature. I have 2 adult children who live on their own. My big lifestyle struggles are juggling life on the road (we are newbies at RVing), running a business as an artist, and creating new art (photographs, poetry, etc.).
Q 2: Where does self care and wellness fall on your scale of priorities? — Below mowing the grass? Once your family and work are situated, then there’s time for you? Self care gets sprinkled in little bits all day long? All else can wait while I care for me first?
Kent: High priority done daily! My top 3 are my relationship with my wife, my own wellness/self-care, and supporting and enhancing my creativity.
Q 3: What daily or weekly activities do you incorporate into your life to support your overall wellbeing? Feel free to include all the dimensions of wellness: physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, environmental, social, occupational, and financial. What happens when you don’t make time to do these activities?
Kent: I incorporate daily quiet time each morning – meditating and centering first thing in the morning. I like to walk, hike, and/or bike ride each day. In the past, these activities were in the city around our home, now they are outdoors in nature :-). I love being out in nature, enjoying the peace, serenity, and freshness offered from nature.
Kent uses a variety of wellness tools as part of his lifestyle as a nature photographer.
- Meditation/Gratitude Practice – daily
- Nature Exposure – daily
- Good Sleep – hopefully daily!
- Food for Wellness – hopefully daily!
- Creative Outlets – daily
- Sunshine Time – daily as weather allows
Q 4: What do you need in order to upgrade your personal wellness habits and create a healthier lifestyle for yourself?
Kent: Pre-pandemic, I used to do OrangeTheory 2-3x per week. Since I’m on the road full time, I am beginning to incorporate running into my weekly routine. My goal is to get back to running 5k 2-3x per week.
Q 5: Every day we make choices that either build up or tear down our physical, mental, and emotional health. This is particularly true when we have a personal crisis. How have your wellness habits affected you during a time of crisis?
Kent: Daily meditation and outdoors in nature help me de-stress, re-focus, and clear my mind. These allow me to sleep well at night and manage any personal crisis that occur. We also incorporate healthy, natural foods avoiding sugars, processed food, and gmo.
Zoa’s Wellness Guidance
Kent’s needs are simple…he wants to keep his heart strong, maintain his connection to nature, and foster his creativity. Here are a few wellness lifestyle suggestions that may help Kent’s heart (and yours!).
3 Low Impact Cardio Workouts at Home
Our heart’s capabilities determine what activities we can do on a daily basis and in life. Most of us only get one heart in our lifetime and we need to take care of it! These two ways provide appropriate amounts of beneficial stress to the heart so it can grow and stay strong.
- Heat from an infrared sauna is a terrific way to encourage good circulation throughout your entire body and strengthen your heart at the same time. Sauna sessions are easy on the knees (a problem area for some who love running). A weekly sauna session is a fabulous wellness activity for the heart and comes with so many additional benefits. Kent could purchase his own sauna for use in the comfort of his own home but space in an RV is quite limited! He could come to Zen and Vitality for a sauna session whenever he was in the Maryland-DC-Virginia area. No matter where he is, he could search online for one close to wherever he is parking his RV at the time!
- Movement challenges the heart. Slow steady movement requires stamina (like a 3 hour hike). When Kent is out in nature taking pictures, he may or may not get enough movement to get a cardio oriented workout. He has created a running goal in order to strengthen his heart, and he may wish to alternate running with a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) session. HIIT is an exercise type that really challenges the cardiovascular and respiratory systems to get better at their jobs. The key for any HIIT workout is to keep it short (like 10 min or less!) and alternate between hard work and rest periods to maximize the benefits. Kent needs no equipment beyond his body so he could work his heart anytime and anyplace.
- Most adults remember the breathless excitement felt as kids when we jumped on a trampoline. The phenomenon known as “rebounding” is just that – jumping on a mini-trampoline! Rebounding can be done for the purpose of cardio exercise or as a detoxification tool which stimulates the lymphatic system. When rebounding for a cardio workout, you jump high enough that your feet come off the trampoline. Whee! When detoxing, the feet stay on for a low key, gentle “health bounce”. Kent could get a simple, folding trampoline for his RV and enjoy his jumping outside the RV while gazing at the trees or whatever view nature offers him at the time – even under an awning or pavilion while raining! Of course, if he was near La Plata, MD, Kent could come to Zen and Vitality to use the Rebounder.
How to Work with Zoa
If you would like to receive personalized advice and guidance about how to improve your own wellness lifestyle, I would love to meet you. During your Free New Client Wellness Consultation, you will get to tell me your story and hear how I can help you. We all need help at times in our lives. Is now the time for you to focus on leveling up your wellness practices?
If you are inspired to share your story and receive wellness suggestions from me, I invite you to answer my 5 wellness lifestyle questions. I look forward to hearing from you!