Within the last year I have noticed a common experience in my practice. An amazing number of people don’t realize the problem. The solution is simple, I tell them to “go outside.” it seems that we have normalized staying inside recently. Daily walks have become weekly or monthly walks. Even dog walking has been reduced timewise. Some have compensated by joining a gym or other form of indoor exercise. And while this is highly recommended, this does not get anyone outside. Being outside in nature is emotionally healing. At minimum I advised my clients to go outside and just sit underneath a tree.
Being outside in nature can improve our physical health. It leads to a healthier lifestyle, improves sleep and appetite, and increase life expectancy. The US Forest Service says, “Studies also show that being outside in nature is relaxing, reducing our stress, cortisol levels, muscle tension and heart rates – all of which are risk factors for cardiovascular disease.”
Another benefit of getting outside is an improved sense of community. “Access to nature can benefit entire communities such as reducing environmental stressors commonly found in cities: air pollution, noise and heat” (US Forest Service).
I suggest a walk around the block, or just to the end of the street. Just “Go Outside!”
For more information about the US forest Service, see https://www.fs.usda.gov/features/wellness-benefits-great-outdoors#:~:text=Studies%20also%20show%20that%20being,risk%20factors%20for%20cardiovascular%20disease.