Heal Yourself by Exercising in Nature
Your body and soul will benefit from time outside each day.
There is something about being in nature that heals us. Without the hum of electronics and the blue screens of our computer and phones, we can step outside and rejuvenate. It is no wonder in the Old Testament of Psalm 23, David wrote: “He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul.” Nature does indeed restore our soul. Nature is an immense gift that bestows us with loads of mental, physical, and emotional rejuvenation.
A researcher at the University of Utah, David Strayer, has stated, “We are now seeing changes in the brain and changes in the body that suggest we are physically and mentally more healthy when we are interacting with nature.” Mr. Strayer and other scientists believe that nature benefits our well-being and creativity as documented by the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley.
Nature has been referred to as vitamin “N”: This vitamin lowers the level of the stress hormone cortisol. People who live near luscious green surroundings have a lower level of this hormone than those living in a city. An outdoor walk decreases cortisol levels, sympathetic nerve activity, blood pressure and heart rate.
Closed or artificial surroundings are simply not how our bodies are made to thrive. Televisions, cell phones, tablets, laptops, etc. are great tools, but they consume a lot of our quality time. The lack of association with the natural world due to spending too much time with electronic gadgets leads to depression. Electronics are necessary in today’s world. However, we need to take breaks.
Develop a habit of adding time in your daily routine to spend outdoors. This may include going for a run or walk, riding your bicycle, flying a kite, going for a swim, fishing or gardening. It may also include time to sit in a beautiful place to quiet your thoughts and connect with your Spirit.
Make it your goal this year to spend some time in nature each day. Your body and soul will benefit!
- by Kathleen LeSage