Add in Some Nature
Hug a Tree
I knew a kid whose mum made her and her brother go outside and hug a tree every time they fought. I’m sure she was just looking for a break in the fighting, but there’s actually science behind this. Being in nature – whether it’s hiking or hugging a tree – is so beneficial.
Health in Nature
Being outside lowers our blood pressure, strengthens our immune system, improves focus and productivity, lowers the risk of obesity and even alleviates pain! Need more convincing or motivation? Read this, listen to this, and if you have kids (and even if you don’t!) there is an amazing documentary called, School’s Out: Lessons from a Forest Kindergarten that you’ll find absolutely fascinating – here’s a sneak peek.
Busy Life Application
We know how difficult it can be to get outside in nature, especially when we live in an urban setting. But it is as essential to our health as what we eat and how we workout. Here are some quick and easy ideas to lure you back into the great outdoors:
- Go for a walk. Sounds too easy, right? Walking is a great way to promote health, absorb sunshine, and take in nature.
- Use alternative transportation like a bicycle instead of a car.
- Find a body of water and skip some rocks, get your feet wet, or take in the scenery.
- Plant a vegetable garden. This also gets you the bonus of playing in the dirt which is fantastic for your gut microbiome, so make sure you don’t wear gardening gloves!
- Stand Up Paddleboard – Combine movement, balance, water sports, and sunshine.
- Plan a picnic in the park – seriously, when was the last time you did this? You’ll get bonus points for playing on the playground equipment, as you see me doing often with my daughter in the 28 Day Transformation.
- See if your local gym or community center offers outdoor group fitness classes like yoga.
- Community Service – get outside AND help your community! Volunteer at a botanic garden, nature center or your local Parks & Rec. This is doable from the smallest town to a huge city like NYC!
- Find a group with similar outdoor interests and meet up with them.
What are some ways you can get back to nature today, tomorrow, or this week? If it’s not already an ongoing habit, I want to encourage you to find something you love outside and get started!