One of my first hikes as a boy scout was a week long, 50 mile adventure through the Adirondack Mountains. I can still vividly see moments of that experience. I've always been fascinated with the outdoors since my parents started taking us hiking and camping all over North America.
While on a hike with my daughter several years ago, I was approached by a couple of hikers. They asked me if I knew what the trail was like ahead. I didn't, but I had my camera with me, and I decided to photograph the trail and scenery so I could review it later. Once I saw the images, I thought it would be a fun and interesting project to start photographing trails, and share the pictures for others to see. The goal for each picture is to capture the beauty of the location enough to entice the viewer to visit the trail, or even simply find a way to enjoy nature.
When I started intensive hiking in 2011 for this project, I begin to notice a strong feeling of elation and a greater perceived level of sensory awareness after each hike. This feeling lasted from hours to days. I wasn't sure if I was feeling a "runner's high" or just refreshed from the hike. So, I started doing some research on the health benefits of hiking.
What I found was quite interesting. In 1982, the Japanese started a movement and campaign around hiking as a way to promote a healthy lifestyle among their famously stressed and overworked people. They called the movement Shinrin-yoku, or "Forest Bathing." Since then, numerous books, publications and studies have been published showing the psychological and physiological benefits of hiking and being in nature.
Here are some of the health benefits of hiking that have been scientifically measured:
My own personal experiences, combined with the well researched health benefits of hiking and being in nature, led me to create a program where people can benefit physically and psychologically through hiking.
In order to be most effective in taking people through this program, I studied and became certified as a Personal Trainer through National Academy of Sports Medicine. I further enhanced my education by working at Equinox and studying in their EFTI program. To help clients deal with other challenges and obstacles in their lives, I studied Strategic Intervention.
The basic tenet of Strategic Intervention is that individuals, relationships, organizations and community can be directed toward positive change through the strategic planning of skillful interventions.
My goal is to use everything I've learned to help people live their ideal lives.
What is my background?
Much of my early corporate experience was in technology startups, and I started a technology services business in 2001. I now focus on my role as a coach, trainer and photographer.
Certified California Naturalist
In coaching sessions, I use the techniques of Strategic Intervention, developed by Tony Robbins and Cloe Madanes. The goal of Strategic Intervention is to is to help people, families and organizations to overcome conflict and personal obstacles by tapping into their own strengths. This approach emphasizes learning to listen to their own subconscious minds in order to come up with solutions and plan a course of action to allow them to move forward.
Certified in Strategic Intervention and Marriage Education
Certified in Advanced Language Patterns, NLP and Hypnosis
Certified in The Architecture of Hypnosis
Certified in NASM’s Optimum Performance Training. The OPT method is a comprehensive training program based on current scientific research that provides results specific to individual needs and goals.
Over 150 hours of personal training courses. These include anatomy, kinesiology, exercise physiology, post rehab protocols and the Three Cycle System – a program design approach that emphasizes the need to create exercise progression that stimulates change over time.
Certified in Functional Movement Screening. The Functional Movement Screen (FMS) is a ranking and grading system that documents movement patterns that are key to normal function. By screening these patterns, the FMS readily identifies functional limitations and asymmetries. These are issues that can reduce the effects of functional training and physical conditioning and distort body awareness.
The FMS generates the Functional Movement Screen Score, which is used to target problems and track progress. This scoring system is directly linked to the most beneficial corrective exercises to restore mechanically sound movement patterns.
Trained and certified in patient assessment and wound treatment in outdoor field conditions.
Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training
Certified in CPR and AED
Level 1 Certified
Individual and Group Certified
Images of me at work (c) J. Flores