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Health Benefits of Spending Time in Nature

There is no denying how good we feel when we are outdoors. The fresh air, the soothing colors of nature, and birds chirping bring out the best in us. Unfortunately, most of us living in big cities do not get a chance to see nature on a regular basis. The most we can experience is a nearby park or a view of a tree from our balcony. But what if we told you that being in nature could improve your mental health, sleep, and breathing and even help with depression? Making weekend trips out of the city and going on nature hikes might become more of a priority for you and your family. Let’s learn about the amazing health benefits of spending time in nature.

Spending Time in Nature Can Improve Your Breathing

Cities typically come with air pollution, and this can significantly affect our health. Those who have asthma, allergies, or chronic sinusitis may be fighting these allergens on a daily basis. And it is not only the outdoor city air that makes us sick. Air pollutants are highly concentrated in our homes, making it sometimes even worse than outdoor air.

sun shining through trees
Better respiratory health is one of the health benefits of spending time in nature

You may have guessed the solution—find green spaces! Make it a priority to take trips to the nearby forest, mountain, lake, or river and simply breathe. If your respiratory issues are severe, find an area of the city with a lot of greenery. If this is available to you, move there so that you can have lots of trees and vegetation surrounding you to purify the air. If you have a yard—plant some trees and shrubs. It may not replace the open spaces of pure nature, but it is better than just blocks of concrete and exhaust pipes for miles on end.

Mental Health and Stress Reduction

Modern-day problems cause us a ton of stress and anxiety daily. From the moment we wake up, we have messages and emails on our phones waiting to be responded to. Then, we spend hours in offices with no fresh air—when can we catch a break? Constant overstimulation can be detrimental to our peace of mind and raise our stress levels through the roof. The effect that nature can have on our mental health is immeasurable. Therefore, get out there whenever you get a chance. Rest your eyes and brain from the computer and phone screen. Everything in nature will soothe, relax, and put you in a restorative—meditative state. You will see the calming colors, hear soothing sounds, and smell trees and flowers around you. This winning combination will do wonders for your anxiety and will have you refreshed for the next round of screen time.

An Increase in Activity Levels

If we are consistently glued to our desks, followed by the couch, there is very little room for movement. Consequently, we will find it extremely difficult to find the motivation to exercise. This is where the added bonus of the natural world comes in. If we form a habit of enjoying nature, it will inevitably force us to move. Regardless of the intensity level of our nature walks, they will benefit our bodies and our nervous system. And it will motivate us to do more and challenge ourselves to raise those intensity levels eventually.

For those who already enjoy exercise, the outdoor space will offer a change of pace and scenery. It will boost motivation and increase oxygen intake due to cleaner air.

A woman with a backpack hiking in nature
Going on nature hikes will motivate you to stay active

Focus and Eyesight

Better focus and eyesight are also some of the health benefits of spending time in nature. Many of us feel genuinely distracted and lack focus because our brains are so used to being stimulated by various types of screens 24/7. This can affect our memory, focus, attention span, and eyesight. The vastness and slow pace of nature effortlessly grab our attention without us having to focus on it consciously. Going outside for a few minutes, or—even better—spending a few hours in nature, can significantly refresh our minds and help us focus better.

And what about our tortured eyes? Surely you’ve heard eye doctors suggesting a practice of increasing the eye-work distance when working in close contact with a computer and taking a break after 30 minutes in order to rest the eyes. Ideally, this would help a little, but imagine what staring into the distance surrounded by green nature can do! Natural light is much kinder to the eyes. Outdoor space and objects let your eyes see things at various distances instead of mostly those close up. This is why taking your kids out to nature is imperative if you want to actively prevent them from developing nearsightedness in the future.

Moving to a Nature-Filled Area

It is not always possible to drop everything, forsake the urban world, and move to a cabin in the woods. Our professions and family obligations simply may not allow it. However, you may be able to move to an area that has the urban side that you need but is also rich in lakes, mountains, forests, and fresh air. If you want to have the best of both worlds, many options are available out there.

Looking at a beautiful lake between trees offers stress relief as one of the health benefits of spending time in nature
Settle down near Lake Michigan for some incredible nature walks

And if your mind is set on Wisconsin, you will absolutely not regret it. Lakes Michigan and Superior are right at your doorstep, and an abundance of wildlife is everywhere you turn. For those making a long distance move, ensure you find the right assistance. If you are looking for movers, do not settle for the first ones you find or the cheapest ones out there. Go through reviews thoroughly because you do not want your idyllic lifestyle change to turn into something negative.

Final Words on Health Benefits of Spending Time in Nature

Whatever your circumstances are, you have nothing to lose by occasionally paying untouched nature a visit. It will undoubtedly improve your mood and your physical and mental health, and on top of all that—it is free. Go out there and start enjoying the incredible health benefits of spending time in nature.