I have been incredibly fortunate to live in areas surrounded by nature. Growing up in Wisconsin, I would shoot mice by the creek during the winter, pick strawberries in the spring, and collect bird eggs for our collection during the summer. During the fall, I would pick wild hickory and hazel nuts. Being outdoors was simply the best. And, it remains true today as I live in the stunning marine community of Gig Harbor, Washington. The beauty is everywhere.
Back then, it was totally normal for parents to allow their children to spend a day in the woods and have total peace of mind. Safety was never an issue during that innocent time, but neither were video game consoles, social media, cell phones, cable television, and year-round sports commitments. Kids’ lives weren’t crammed and scheduled with various activities like they are today. We had the freedom to truly immerse ourselves in nature. We had balance, and, frankly, I think we were healthier for it.
I wish everyone (both young old) could have the same experience that I did as a child. The outdoors—the fresh air, the amazing smells, the beauty—has a way of bringing things into perspective. It’s a place to meditate, refocus, calm down, be active, and grow.
It fills our spirit, and strengthens our bodies.
In fact, a study conducted in 2009 found that people who live closer to nature (and away from the city) are physically healthier! Live in the city? That’s okay, too. Researchers have also found that joggers who exercise in a natural setting (with trees and lots of greenery) feel less anxious and more restored than runners who do the same amount of exercise in a gym or urban atmosphere. So, it looks like the verdict is in. Get outside!
Whether it is hiking into the forest, taking a walk on the beach, photographing wildlife, admiring sunsets and sunrises, looking for rainbows, or watching clouds, I encourage you to get yourself outdoors and into nature. There’s truly no substitute for it! It’s good for your body, mind, and soul.