How much time have you spent in nature lately? Between work, driving the kids to events and just everyday chores, most people don’t believe they should take the time or have the time to go out in nature. Nature presents scenes that are soothing to your attention, rather than jolting your attention. Nature calms your nerves rather than causing wear and tear on them. It’s amazing how just glancing out a window can lift your spirits when you are stressed. Also, I find that just stepping outdoors for a few minutes can quickly improve your mood.
I try to spend time outside daily no matter what the weather. The people that live near me know that I will be walking outside in drizzle, snow, humidity, and 90 degree heat or higher. I started years ago gaining the calm the outdoors can bring into your life. There are important things about the outdoors that calm you. For instance, bloodstream levels of the stress hormone cortisol are lowered after time spent outside and this effect can last for several days. This suggests that times spent outdoors are a reliable way to manage stress.
Another benefit is weight management. As a Certified Health Coach, I know that obesity is a major problem in the United States. Exercise and proper diet are the two most effective ways to stop the spread of obesity. You can burn about 150 calories each half hour of walking outside. You can also burn it on the treadmill, but you won’t get as big of a stress reduction and feeling of well-being as when you walk outside. The great benefits of outdoor exercise start adding up at just 120 minutes per week and you don’t have to be doing it strenuously to see results. You can see benefits with a 25 minute walk every day or be a Weekend Warrior one day on the weekend and walk for 2 hours. Fortunately, at the same time, you will be gaining the benefits of all the feel good stress reduction that connecting with nature can offer you.