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Spending time in nature is good for our physical and mental well-being. It boosts mood and helps us de-stress. Plus, it strengthens our immunity, encourages healing, and enhances creativity.

Start with just a few minutes outside to breathe deeply and set intentions. Any time of day works, but early-morning light helps align the body’s circadian rhythms for better evening sleep.

Here are some tips to overcome your barriers to spending more time outside:

  • Invest in the right clothing.

Start with a sweat-wicking base layer that fits close to your skin.
Add a fleece or wool outer layer.
Top with a jacket.
Don’t forget your appendages! Warm socks, good gloves, a hat and/or gator to wrap your face.
Avoid cotton, since it traps moisture when you sweat.

  • Make it a party! Invite friends and family to try snowshoeing. Many places rent gear for minimal cost.
  • Move in minimal doses. If you don’t have 30 minutes for forest bathing, try five or 10 in a public space or park. Find 25 ideas to make time for fitness here.
  • Be present. Take a brief stroll on your lunch hour or after your evening meal. Tend to your own garden or a community garden. Sit on a bench by a lake and watch and listen to the waves. Noticing nature, even in seemingly small moments, makes an impact on your well-being.
  • Too cold? Get outside in short doses. Of course, if extreme cold is in your region, avoid longer periods of time outside. Instead, make the most of a mindful walk to the mailbox or store: Ensure very little skin is exposed to the temperatures, take a few slow deep breaths, and notice the light and fauna or flora around you. Then head to an indoor track or health club for your workout. Get more winter-fitness tips here and find four cold-weather activities here.

Why Nature Is Good for Your Health

There are myriad health benefits to spending time in nature, including stress management, immunity resiliency, and better sleep. Learn more in these articles:

two sets of feet with hiking boots overlooking a mountain lake

The Nature Cure

Learn how going outdoors can help ease depression and hypertension and improve resiliency and immunity.
Read more
a person canoes across a mountain lake

NATURAL MENTAL HEALTH: How Nature Supports Our Mental Health

Here's how nature supports our mind and mood — and how to get more of it.
Read more

One Healthy Habit

For more inspiration and other challenges, please visit One Healthy Habit.

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Experience Life Staff

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