Health experts agree – the benefits of spending time in nature are manifold. From reducing stress and anxiety to strengthening your immune system to reducing the symptoms of depression, communing with the great outdoors, even for brief periods of time, is well worth making time for.
But that can be tough when you live in an urban environment. Luckily, with a little strategic know-how even city-dwellers can reap the rewards of green space. Here are four easy ways urbanites can get a quick nature fix:
1. Spend lunchtime in the park. Today’s cities are home to some of the most prized parks, and local planners take great care to make them accessible, wonderful havens for city dwellers. So when weather permits, get out of your office and head to the park for lunch or a picnic dinner with friends or family. While you’re there, kick off your shoes. Studies show that going barefoot in the grass helps regulate the central nervous system.
2. Head to the roof. Many of today’s urban dwellings and offices have inviting rooftop areas for tenants. Take full advantage of these open-air spaces to relax with a book or a podcast. The dose of vitamin D and fresh air will fill you with valuable, mood-enhancing nutrients.
3. Get out of the gym. Chances are high that your city has invested in running and biking paths, sports fields, hiking trails and other outdoor fitness areas that weave their way through parks and along rivers and lakes. Commit to taking your fitness routine outdoors in order to take care of your physical and mental well-being.
4. Find a community garden. Nothing beats the benefits of digging in the dirt! Just because you live in the city doesn’t mean you can’t partake in full-fledged gardening. Find a community garden and spend a day or two on the weekend or an evening after work, planting, watering and weeding to your heart’s content.
Remember, being a city slicker doesn’t mean you can’t be a nature enthusiast as well. These are just some of the ideas that can let you have the best of both worlds!