10 Benefits Of A Walk In The Woods
We hear all the time about how we need to find time in our busy lives to relax, to take a moment and free ourselves from the chains of our daily hassles. We all have our own idea of what relaxing should involve and our own way of winding down.
Whether it be a guilty pleasure on television, settling in with a good book, or exercising to keep fit, we all need to find a little time to reflect. For me, there is nothing like a good walk in the woods.
In the woods, the sounds of nature replace the sounds of the office. A chirping bird in a tree replaces the printer jam alert as the leaves blowing in the wind take the place of the rattling air ducts overhead. Crawling out from underneath the fluorescent lights of the office and into the sunshine can be just what the doctor ordered.
Here are 10 benefits of a walk in the woods:
Solitude – I love being in the midst of all the trees. Under the canopy of the shade on a hot summer day, or enjoying the yellow, orange, and brown colors of fall. Even in the winter, the cold air can exhilarating after being stuck indoors.
Perspective - Every time I return from a walk, I have a fresh perspective on life. Well maybe not on life, but I do breathe easier knowing that whatever had me so stressed out isn't all that important on the larger scale of life.
The sights – As someone who spends hours a day in front of a computer screen, getting out and seeing the world in high definition can be humbling and breathtaking. With all of our technological advances, still can’t duplicate the real thing.
Exercise – With all of this going on, it’s easy to forget I’m out there moving. Walking up a steep hill, I'm rewarded with a great view for my efforts. Instead of walking around a track and counting the laps, I walk alongside the creek, with large trees or bridges as my markers.
Getting dirty – In the woods I wear my old clothes and my old sneakers, it’s just me and the dogs, and we’re not worried about impressing anyone.
Unplugging – Maybe not for these pictures, but usually I leave the phone at home. It’s nice to be free of the ringing and buzzing that has become so common in our lives.
Creativity – Alone with just my thoughts (and dogs in my case), it's amazing all of the stuff I find rattling around in my head. I find that when I'm alone in the woods, the ideas come flooding in when I least expect it.
Learning – Perhaps it’s my age, but these days I take an interest in the trees around me. The oaks, the maples, and the Dogwoods, I like to know my environment.
Being a kid again – There’s something about the woods that brings out our inner child. Memories of childhood flicker in the back of my mind when I'm running or walking in the woods.
Stress relief - I find it difficult to worry about trivial matters when I'm in the serenity of the forest. As I follow the well worn path, I feel the healing powers of nature.
Unplugging and getting out does wonders for my state of mind and keeps me moving. In the woods I breathe easier and feel better, the smaller problems that plague my everyday life become manageable as I return refreshed and energized.
With the beeps and clicks of technology constantly humming in the background, try a walk in the park or the woods for a change of pace. I haven't found an app that can duplicate the true beauty of nature, and when it calls, it could help us all to listen.