Searching for new ways of coping with stress? Head to the park! It only takes 15 minutes there to boost your brain. Plus, exercising outside, instead of inside, increases energy and reduces tension. Here’s how to boost your mood with 5 outdoor activities that are perfect for the park.
Did you know that strolling through a park boosts short term memory 20% more than walking through city streets? Not to mention the mood-lifting benefits you get from sunshine. Hello, Vitamin D! And if you’re dealing with anxiety, walking helps with you burn excess energy by moving your body, changes your breathing in a good way, and offers distractions that can all help keep symptoms in check. Best of all, it doesn’t matter how fast you go, just go!
Whether you’re working out to manage stress, stay healthy, or get into shape, doing it outdoors is way better for you than doing it indoors. Why? Think of it like a simple math equation: The benefits of nature + the benefits of exercise = max stress lowering! So the next time you plan on heading to a gym, go to the park instead. You can do it solo, with a friend, or bring your dog to give them a great workout too.
Sunny day? Bring your yoga mat to the grass. Looking at the trees during tree pose, gazing up at sun the during sun salutations, and taking in the fresh air at the park will take your flow to the next level. Bad weather keeping you from going to the park? A nature app or sound machine will bring the sounds of nature to you. Think chirping birds, rustling leaves, and more.
Sit On A Bench
FYI: You don’t have to work out to get in on the health benefits of being outdoors! Simply sitting on a park bench and taking in the sights, sounds, and scents can do wonders for your stress level and mood. Bonus points for doing a simple breathing meditation: Close your eyes, focus on your breathing, and let a feeling of zen take over your whole body.
Have A Picnic
Want to know how to deal with stress and anxiety during a busy school or work day? Eat your lunch or snack at the park. Just 15 minutes with nature can deliver a serious de-stress effect. Specifically, being with nature has been shown to lower stress, blood pressure, and heartrate. Don’t have time to go to the park? Put a plant on your desk or look at pictures of nature on your phone during your break. It will give some of the same benefits of spending time in nature.
Other Outdoor Activities
If you’re not near a park, there are plenty of other ways to capture the stress-busting and mood-boosting effects of nature. Go to a beach or the woods, hang out in your backyard or on your front stoop, or find creative ways to spend time WITH nature when you can’t be IN it!