Now that the warmer weather is upon us, we can begin to take our daily activities outside. That means tennis, running, biking and daily walking can be enjoyed out in the sun or in the woods, along a trail. This reminds me of a recent article featured by The Washington Post entitled, “‘Forest bathing’ is latest fitness trend to hit U.S. — ‘Where yoga was 30 years ago.’” This particular activity focuses on taking in the vastness of nature and exploring the senses that can develop when you’re in this environment. While we don’t all have access to a large park or forest near our place of work, even the slightest connection can be just enough to have an impact on us.
Taking part in more activities outside has been studied in relation to positive changes in mood, as well as blood pressure and cortisol (the hormone associated with stress) levels. The Washington Post article really highlights how taking time to go outside during your daily work break can positively affect both psychological and physiological overall health. Since many people work inside or at a desk for most of the day, it’s very beneficial to take a step outside for a bit to reset if we have the chance to do so.
This might mean packing running or walking shoes along to work to take a stroll on your lunch break. Activity during the day can easily be tracked now with fitness trackers that you can even set up to prompt you to move at certain times during the day. It would seem that all we are left with is the simple act of getting outside, feeling the sun on our skin, maybe a light breeze, and taking in the sounds. This is easier said than done, I know, but finding time to soak in a bit of nature can truly have a positive effect on our stress levels. We can have the benefit of returning to work feeling more energized, in a better mood, and better focused to then be more productive. So, don’t you think we owe it to ourselves to give it a whirl?!