On Getting Outdoors

For me, the outdoors is my sanctuary. I find it relaxing and re-energizing. I don’t have to be doing anything in particular outdoors, either. Some of my favorite activities are walking, hiking, bicycling, driving, camping, and fly fishing.

According to this article from Harvard Health, getting outdoors and exercising in the presence of light has some mental health benefits, may improve your ability to focus, and may improve your mood. There are a number of studies that suggest that walking and general exercising in nature will improve your short term memory. This study presented by the National Institute of Health backs this up with data.

Not only is getting outdoors good for your health, but it can also be good for your wallet. You don’t need a bunch of fancy gear from REI (my favorite outdoors store) to get out and enjoy nature. You probably have a park near you that you can walk, ride your bike, or drive to. For myself, I enjoy the state and federal lands close to where I live. There are plenty of forest service roads to drive and places to hike once I get there. This takes a bit of gas and some wear and tear on your car but the tradeoff is worth it for me.

If you are going to venture outdoors, make sure to do some research before you leave. You may need a permit or pass to enjoy a park that you would like to visit. If you’re going further away from your home on a drive or hike, make sure to pack enough supplies to keep yourself comfortable.

So, the next time you find yourself anxious or bored, try heading outside and taking in some sights. You’ll most likely see an improvement afterward.