10 Reasons to Escape to Nature

By Luke Jones. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. 

Sunset

BACK TO NATURE

The weather in South Wales this weekend was bright and sunny, so I headed up to the mountains for a nice trek.

I’ve always loved being outdoors, and I really can’t think of anything more freeing. Whether it’s climbing boulders in the sunshine by the beach, or running through the mountains in the pouring rain.

Climbing Even just stretching, moving, or strength training in the park or the back garden.

There are so many reasons I love getting out in the fresh air, and so many benefits from doing so. Lets take a look at some…

10 REASONS TO ESCAPE TO NATURE

1. Perspective.

It’s difficult not to be humbled when peering up at the towering cliffs in the mountains, or sitting by the sea watching the immense power of the waves. It can really put things into perspective. Do our problems really matter that much in the long run? We are just another species inhabiting this vast, ever-changing planet.

Yet we are also deeply connected with the environment. Experiencing nature can be both overwhelming and empowering at the same time.

2. Fresh Air.

Getting out into the wilderness gives you the chance to escape the pollution, the emissions, the smells and the noise from modern life. We are so often surrounded by these things, that we can quite easily forget how fresh air feels.

There are theories that suggest many of our chronic diseases are linked to the unnatural chemicals we interact with, day in day out. I definitely notice the difference when returning to Wales after a visit to exhaust fume filled London. It’s very refreshing.

3. De-Stress.

Our modern lives are filled with unusual sources of stress – traffic jams, meetings, emails, multi tasking… Whilst our social structure and technologies have evolved at an alarming rate, our primate bodies have struggled to keep up. We haven’t quite figured out how to respond to all theses unnatural stressors yet.

I find that being outdoors provides a great way to escape the madness. It allows us to get back to our natural environment.

4. Mindfulness

Compared to the hustle and bustle of towns and cities, the mountains, forests and sea are very quiet. There is no background hum of traffic or sirens.

The peace gives you the chance to be more aware of everything around you. You can be more mindful of your thoughts and actions, and enjoy the present moment.

5. Create. 

Because my head is clear when I’m out in nature, I’m able to come up with new ideas. Sometimes for the blog, sometimes completely unrelated. The natural environment is so complex; there are so many colours and shapes. It can often provide inspiration.

And this certainly isn’t a new concept. Many of the world’s most successful leaders, writers and artists would come up with new things whilst out on walks. So get out there and create.

6. Appreciate.

Human beings have created some pretty awesome structures – the pyramids, skyscrapers, and cathedrals… But I find that the natural wonders of the world are that little bit extra special – the mountains, the oceans, and the forests.

The best way to appreciate the beauty of the Earth is to immerse ourselves in it. When we do, we realise that our actions are putting many of these environments at risk. We are responsible for taking care of the planet, but as a species we continue to exploit it. Big changes are needed.

7. Movement.

Physical training in-doors is great from time to time, but I love taking advantage of nature’s playground whenever possible. Running, jumping, climbing, crawling, lifting… Doing the things our bodies are built to do. It’s so freeing.

Movement is like anything else – if you don’t use it, you will likely lose it. So get outside and move.

8. Connect.

Although it can be nice to go out on your own and disconnect, being in nature doesn’t always have to be a solitary affair. It can also be exciting to go out into the wilderness with others. Have an adventure. Sometimes it’s good to get a bit lost. Uncertainty and struggle can create strong bonds.

9. Vitamin D.

We make most of our vitamin D by interacting with UV radiation from the sun, so it’s a good idea to get outside and take advantage of the bright weather whenever you can. Fifteen to twenty minutes a day of exposure is typically recommended to meet your daily requirements, but this will vary depending on your location.

Not only is it essential for bone growth, vitamin D has also been shown to help synthesise serotonin, reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases, and increase your lifespan. Read more here if you’re interested.

10. Recover.

Getting adequate rest and recovery is key to staying healthy, yet is often overlooked. There are quite a few methods that can help improve your quality of sleep, but one of the most powerful ways I have found is going out for an evening stroll or a light run just before bed. Try it sometime!

So what are you waiting for? Go lace up your boots, fill your back pack and enjoy the benefits of the outdoors. 


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Thanks for reading!

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Luke Jones
Luke Jones is a mover, blogger and wellness enthusiast. He spends his time exploring and sharing ideas in mindful movement, healthy living and adventure.

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