Nature's Benefits

Getting outdoors can be a great stress reliever during this uncertain time​

Jul 27, 2020

We've all heard someone say to us, “Go outside and get some fresh air.” When you step into the great outdoors, like many, you probably notice a boost after spending a little time in nature. More and more research is showing that spending some quality time outside supports nature’s health benefits.

Getting outside has shown to have benefits to multiple dimensions of our well-being. It can help with aspects of mental, emotional, physical, and cognitive well-being. Getting outside for just five minutes has shown to reduce the amount of stress experienced. It also can help improve creativity, your sense of being able to complete life’s daily tasks and decrease mental distress and anxiety.

Research from Harvard University shows the physical health benefits to getting outdoors as well. Walking or just existing in nature can help with reducing the stress hormones in your body and also boost your immune system. You are more likely to stick with an exercise routine if you pick an outdoor activity over an activity done solely at a gym. It can be helpful to try different activities or create a space you can go to for some solitude.

Today, in the modern world, you may experience higher levels of connectivity to technology. For some, urbanization has made it difficult to find space outside. However, going outside can look whatever way you’d like it to. Maybe it means starting out with five minute walks during breaks, or sitting on a bench without looking at a device once a week. If you are interested in discovering outdoor activities, here are a few resources to get your started:
  • Dane County parks : Offer a variety of recreational opportunities to enjoy the outdoors.
  • WI DNR: Includes state and local parks, recreation, and activities.
  • Travel Wisconsin: Provides lists of activities and events going on.
  • AllTrails: Includes over 100,000 trails around the US with varying skill levels. Use online or download the mobile phone app.
Whether you take a walk around your block, jog in a park or sit in your backyard, get outside and see the health benefits nature has to offer.

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