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Reduce Stress in the Great Outdoors

Jul 30, 2012 12:12AM ● By Michele Landis

Imagine how great it feels to be vacationing in the cool mountain air or lazing in the hot sun on a sandy beach. Just getting away from technology, schedules, appointments and responsibilities is beneficial to our health—our body relaxes and our blood pressure drops.

Many of us plan a vacation to escape the daily grind and enjoy the great outdoors, but what about our daily connection to nature? Connecting to the natural environment can be a simple way to reduce stress. In fact, research shows that fresh air, plants, trees and natural outdoor elements can have a profound effect on our health and well-being. Whether we simply take our shoes off and walk through the grass or take a strenuous mountain hike, it’s important to capture moments of inner peace and calm with a daily routine that incorporates outside activity.

Try these easy ways to connect with nature:

  • Take a quick walk during lunch break.
  • Go for a bicycle ride.
  • Listen to the birds chirping and learn what birds make each sound.
  • Go to a local park and explore a nature trail.
  • Join a hiking club.
  • Dip your feet in a stream.
  • Take a swim in a lake.
  • Take 10 slow, deep breaths.
  • Go kayaking or canoeing on a lake or stream.
  • Set up a hammock in the backyard.

Michele Landis is the owner of Yoga at Simply Well, 28 S. Pitt St., Carlisle. She has hiked the entire Appalachian Trail, from Georgia to Maine, the Colorado Trail and New England’s Long Trail, and has taught day hiking classes at Cornell University.