Business owners have busy lives, which sometimes make it hard to have time for outdoor activities. In fact, this practice has persisted for many years because many people believe that to climb the success ladder, you have to put in a lot of hours and be burned out. However, did you know that recent studies show that the level of burnout and stress you face daily can be a matter of life and death?
Well, you can choose good health and well-being by making it a priority to spend time with nature. In fact, research shows that spending a minimum of 120 minutes a week or two to three hours per day in natural environments such as among trees, sunlight, and fresh air enhances overall well-being. The health benefits were even greater, with more than half of the people who spent time outdoors reporting higher levels of happiness and good health. Being outdoors will cost you nothing that is why we have compiled the top 6 most fun outdoor activities with health benefits that you can do in New England and they’re backed by science.
Outdoor Activities With Health Benefits:
1. Start trail running and get high-quality fresh air
Jogging and trail running are the most popular outdoor activities among Americans. Trail running exposes you to nature, which helps you reap a ton of benefits the most important being lengthening your life expectancy by 7 hours. Of course, other health benefits of trail running include increasing creativity, reducing stress, burns calories, and improves endurance. Trail running also prevents injury because the trail provides a soft impact which eliminates the hard pounding of your knees. While this outdoor activity may not be practical if you live in busy urban areas, you can schedule trail running to be a fun weekend outdoor activity.
2. Gardening for the body and mind
Gardening is an outdoor activity that is enjoyed by almost everyone. It provides an excellent opportunity for everyone to have regular contact with nature, even for those living in cities. Gardening makes it easier for you to interact with the natural environment, which improves mental well-being and physical health. Horticultural therapy also promotes an active lifestyle, lowers stress hormones, improves attention, reduce depression, anxiety and increases life satisfaction as well as psychological well-being.
Besides, 30 minutes of gardening burns around 150 calories, which gives you the same benefits as going to the gym. If you don’t feel like going to the gym or doing any strenuous fitness program, then shift to gardening. This outdoor activity also enables you to get a daily dose of vitamin D from natural sunlight. Vitamin D encourages the release of serotonin, a mood stabilizer that helps to feel more positive and productive. People with no garden of their own can reap the same benefits by visiting community gardens.
3. Go outside during break and breathe in fresh air
What can you do when you feel like you have zero energy and can’t get that cup of coffee fast enough? Go outside and get fresh air. Did you know that spending at least 20 minutes in the open air will give you the same amount of energy as a cup of coffee? The next time you are indoors and need an energy boost from coffee, opt to go outside and get fresh air. It doesn’t have to be a long strenuous walk. You can use your lunch break to take a walk outside your home or office building.
4. Ride a bicycle outdoors
Did you know that doing physical activity in an outdoor natural environment has a greater effect on mental well-being as compared to exercising indoors? Exercising outdoors such as riding a bike in the natural environment decreases tension, depression, and anger as well as boosts feelings of revitalization increases energy and positive engagement.
Just because riding a bicycle outdoors has immense benefits, doesn’t mean you should give up your spin classes. Instead of opting for a stationary bike all the time, you can take your bicycle for an outdoor workout to get a total body workout and enjoy the fresh air as well as some quiet times. Studies show that spending quiet time in nature improves life satisfaction and enhances mindfulness, happiness, self-efficacy and lowers stress.
5. Enjoy the wonders of a park
We all know the benefits of a daily walk. There are also numerous unique health benefits of walking in a park or nature reserve. Walking in a green environment where you come in contact with nature enhances physical health, mood, and self-esteem. Studies show that after walking in the park, people tend to have more enthusiasm and problem-solving skills. Furthermore, a 30-minute outdoor walk may reduce high blood pressure risks by 9%.
Apart from exercising and getting fresh air, studies show that the scents or smells in a park, nature reserve or forest also known as phytoncides may lower blood pressure and increases the production of cancer-fighting immune cells.
6. Use Ecotherapy to get a dose of nature
As the health benefits of natural setting continue to rise, then a stroll outside might just be what the doctor orders. Ecotherapy, green therapy or nature therapy can be as simple as taking a hike, walking your dog in a natural environment or walking to school or grocery store. Modern health care providers are turning to ecotherapy to treat medical conditions such as attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), obesity, diabetes, vision problems, high blood pressure, depression, and post-cancer fatigue.
Whether you prefer to have an outdoor garden, a small plant in your home or office or taking a few minutes to do a wild trail run, these outdoor activities with health benefits will reap numerous benefits when you interact with nature. Scientifically, interacting with a natural environment comes with various benefits that work to improve your overall health and well-being. So, what are you waiting for? Start spending time in nature and let it be a common practice.
For more tips or if you wish to introduce nature to your interior or exterior office spaces, look no further than Cityscapes Boston.