Health and Wellness
Getting out and enjoying a natural space can be good for you – all of you. Studies have shown that spending time in nature, or just bringing some of the outside
But if you’re a desk jockey or otherwise trapped inside for the majority of the day, it’s hard to get out to enjoy the healthy benefits the outside world offers. Work on fostering a green mindset and developing a few small habits and you’ll find it makes a big difference in your life. Most people eat a few times every day, for example. So why not change the way you think about going out for lunch?
Instead of buying lunch, pack some real convenience food that’s easy to eat on the go (think apples and bananas) and take a walk during your lunch break. Or, stop at a park on your way home from work. At the very least, get in the habit of parking as far away from your destination as possible and add a few steps to your day that way.
Why does it matter? As we said earlier, nature is really, really good for your health. A review of more than 140 studies concluded that “exposure to green space reduces the risk of type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, preterm birth, stress, and high blood pressure.” Do you really need more evidence?
Well, OK. Here:
- A University of Michigan study showed that taking a short nature walk improved memory by 20%
- In a sample of 931 office workers, those who could see a nature scene out their windows reported higher job satisfaction and less stress than those who could not look out a window to the natural world.
- Walking in nature has shown to be effective at combating depression
Now that you see what a good green outing can do for you, find some ways to steal a little more time with nature. A few ideas below.
Boston’s Natural Attractions Are Calling!
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve lived here, it’s OK to act like a tourist in your hometown! Consider some of Boston’s easy, breezy spots to soak up some of nature’s benefits – indoors or out.
- Visit The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University. It’s open to the public year round, admission is free, and guided walks and other events are offered frequently.
- When was the last time you went to Castle Island? Maybe it’s time for a return trip.
- Walk the labyrinth at Armenian Heritage Park, or find one even closer to you.
- Get your own green space (and tend it) at the fabulous Fenway Victory Gardens.
- The Lyman Estates Greenhouses in Waltham are lush and lovely (and free to visitors)
- Trip into the tropics at Franklin Park Zoo’s Tropical Forest and while you’re there, explore Bird’s World, too. Both indoor attractions offer a big dose of outdoor beauty and wonder.
- The Limonaia, or Lemon House, at Tower Hill Botanic Garden, is an indoor, sub-tropic environment that provides plenty of sunny views and lush greenery.
- Also offering natural beauty indoors is the Butterfly Place in Westford. Open from Valentine’s Day through Columbus Day, it’s sure to fill you with wonder.
Bring the Natural World Inside for More Health Benefits
Whether you’re hosting a work event or just working in your home office, incorporating plants and other natural elements can improve the indoor atmosphere (and your attitude along with it). When you can’t get out for a fresh breath of air, you can still reap some of the benefits that nature offers.