5 Wild Ideas to Connect with Nature
by Tracey Pollack
When the weather is pleasing, it’s second nature to be outdoors. Breathing fresh air and hearing the soothing sounds of nature can brighten your outlook and lighten your mood. And if you’ve been cooped up indoors too long, it’s only natural to need a break from cramped spaces and too much technology. Getting outside and in touch with nature is as good for your mind as it is for your body. It makes you happy and helps you stay healthy. Yet now, it’s more important than ever to enjoy our surroundings safely. So explore these refreshing ideas for getting outdoors and closer with nature at a safe social distance.
- Go On a Walk at Off-Hours
Taking a walk outside helps you fit in some extra exercise without breaking a sweat. Along with its many physical benefits from reducing your blood pressure to your weight, walking makes you feel like you’re walking away from your problems and helps you take any stress in stride. But rather than visiting crowded parks during busy times, simply stroll around your neighborhood either early in the morning or later in the day. And if others are walking your way, step up your pace to stay at a safe distance. By strolling the streets without distractions, you’ll enjoy a healthy stretch of tranquility and get in step with nature.
- Explore More Less-Trafficked Trails
Stretch your legs and expand your horizons by hitting a hidden hiking trail. Go beyond the local parks to find new roads to roam. But don’t worry, you shouldn’t need to trek too far to find little-known trails to take. You’ll find that hiking less-traveled trails provides a refreshing change of scenery and a greater sense of serenity. By avoiding parks and paths overrun by hikers, you’ll be able to get a good workout while you exercise social distancing.
- Grow a Love of Gardening
If you’re trying to dig up some outdoor activities, gardening can be a breath of fresh air. Gardening offers opportunities for both physical activity and mental clarity. With all of the digging, weeding, and bending involved, gardening is actually a form of aerobic exercise. And studies show that gardening helps reduce stress much better than many other activities. Your garden is yours to grow any way you choose. Plant your favorite flowers to brighten your landscape and your mood. Or grow your own fruits and veggies to save trips to the crowded market and encourage healthy eating.
- Catch a Chance to Go Fishing
If you’re looking for a peaceful outdoor pastime, cast your sights on fishing. Getting out in nature and spending time on the water is mentally relaxing and emotionally refreshing. And being surrounded by the sights and sounds of nature helps lower your blood pressure as the sun brightens your mood. Before tackling your next fishing trip, line up less crowded fishing holes in open spaces with plenty of open air day so you can relax about fishing safely.
- Gear Up for Biking
Cycling through peaceful scenery creates a deeper connection with nature and a greater appreciation for the beauty of the world around you. While you’re building a bond with nature, you’ll also be getting some much-needed movement that supports a strong immune system and soothes any stress or anxiety. But rather than riding through roads full of fellow bikers, shift gears by riding solo or with a member of your household. You can also try timing your rides for when your route will belong to you.
While it’s smart to stay close to home, the beauty and benefits of nature are all waiting outside your door.