Inside Out, Outside In
Sure a breath of fresh air invigorates and calms. But plenty of research suggests that nature’s lush gardens, golden rays, and cool breezes may have holistic healing powers. During Great Outdoors Month, help your insides… by getting outside.
Park it. Exposure to the outdoors can boost immunity, lower blood pressure, and even diminish depression. In fact, the National Recreation and Park Association found that Americans who visit parks frequently need fewer doctor visits. Spend 20 minutes feeding ducks, reading under a tree, or simply traipsing barefoot across the silky grass.
Move it. While research shows that Mother Nature’s synergetic sights, sounds, and smells bump up cognitive awareness and aid cardiovascular health, exercising in them compounds the benefits. One study suggested that a jaunt through a colorful corridor of leaves and trees maximizes the stress-relieving power of physical activity more than a similar excursion in an urban setting. Spend 30 minutes walking, jogging, or hiking where foliage flourishes — whether it’s a countryside meadow or an inner-city greenbelt.
Plant it. A green thumb strengthens your entire hand… and that’s not all. Researchers at Kansas State University found that gardening not only enhances finger and wrist mobility among senior citizens, but decreases stress and raises self-esteem. Cultivation breeds purpose — when you tend to a living, growing thing, you’re motivated to sustain its life… and yours.