Cancer Tips Health

Four benefits of being active in nature

Nature is one of my favorite places to spend time. During my cancer treatments, I often escaped to the outdoors as it helped relax and motivate me. It provides so many great things to us. Keep reading to learn four benefits of being active in nature.

Nature refreshes my soul

I’ve always been a child of Earth. Trees, green spaces, animals, blue skies, bright flowers, sunshine….some of my favorite things! I love being outside. And love even more so being active in nature.

Hiking in Sedona

One particular experience during bone cancer treatment always sticks out as a defining moment in my love of nature. An unexpected infection between chemo treatments put me in the hospital for 17 days. Mid-way through the hospital stay, I was so stir crazy from being indoors that my oncologist let a nurse take me to the hospital’s garden area. I still remember how calming and refreshing it was to breathe fresh air, hear the birds chirping and trees softly blowing in the wind, and feel the warmth of the sun. It’s almost as if that moment bloomed something inside me and nature became my special place.

I recently had the pleasure of traveling to Sedona for a wonderful vacation! After almost two years of not traveling due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was amazing to meet a friend for several days of hiking and exploring in warm, fresh air (I left 23 degrees in Michigan!). We hiked every day and sat outside at every opportunity. I can’t begin to describe how refreshing the time in nature was. Between that and time with my friend, my soul was so very full of joy and gratitude!

Get motivated with these four benefits of being active in nature!

It can motivate you to change up your regular exercise routine.

Diversifying your workouts can benefit your body and mind. Changing your regular exercise routine makes your body adjust, possibly prompting new muscles to kick in. And the new environment can help keep your mind from getting bored. Even when I’m working up a sweat hiking or biking, it doesn’t feel like exercise because I’m enjoying myself and immersed in the world around me.

Lower your blood pressure and heart rate, and reduces stress hormones and anxiety.

Time in nature provides great physical, mental and emotional benefits to our bodies. Stress hormones drop, lowering anxiety levels while also lowering blood pressure. New studies also show that stress reduction can improve our attention span. Being in nature engages our attention in a ‘quieter’ way that helps us focus.

Soak up vitamin D.

Exercising in the sunshine is a great way to not only improve your mood, but also your body. Vitamin D boosts the immune system, helps fight depression, promotes bone growth and prevents osteoporosis. But don’t forget to wear sunscreen and stay hydrated.

Get a good night sleep.

Fresh air and exercise are a great combo for helping you fall asleep and improve the quality of your sleep.

The benefits to Mother Nature.

These are just four benefits to being active in nature. There are many more so take the time to get outside!

Another important benefit of spending time in nature is learning to appreciate our environment. This hopefully leads to more people caring about and protecting our land and oceans. Heaven knows Earth could use some love so the next generations can also enjoy the benefits of nature.

What are some of your favorite outdoor activities?

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