We all know that spending time outside is beneficial for health and wellness, but it can be more challenging if you live in a bigger city. It is easy to find ways to explore the great outdoors in more rural areas. However, it may seem like your options are more limited when living in a concrete jungle.
The benefits of getting outside are too good to pass up, no matter where you live. Since many of our Vivage communities are located in Denver, our team at Vivage is sharing a few of these benefits and tips for connecting with nature while leading a city lifestyle.
Get Your Daily Dose of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient that all of us need. It helps the body absorb calcium, prevent osteoporosis, and maintain strong bones, teeth, and muscles. According to the National Institutes of Health, “without sufficient vitamin D, bones can become thin, brittle, or misshapen.”
One of the best ways to get your recommended dose of vitamin D is through sun exposure. “Your skin hosts a type of cholesterol that functions as a precursor to vitamin D. When this compound is exposed to UV-B radiation from the sun, it becomes vitamin D (Healthline).”
However, you do not have to spend hours baking in the sun to get your daily dose of vitamin D. As little as 8 to 15 minutes of exposure is all you need.
Boost Your Immune System
Another one of the benefits of getting outside is that it can give your immune system a boost. According to New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation, “while we breathe in the fresh air, we breathe in phytoncides, airborne chemicals that plants give off to protect themselves from insects…When people breathe these chemicals, our bodies respond by increasing the number and activity of a type of white blood cell…These cells kill tumor- and virus-infected cells in our bodies.”
Additionally, spending time in nature helps us feel more positive and mentally healthy, significantly impacting and boosting the immune system.
Strengthen Your Memory
Spending time in nature has a similar effect on the brain as meditating. For example, researchers at the University of Michigan found that “memory performance and attention spans improved by 20 percent after people spent an hour interacting with nature.”
By allowing your brain to reset and focus on plants and animals rather than screens and walls, you create space for your mind to recharge, improving your capability to focus and remember things over time.
Tips for Connecting with Nature in a City
Take Advantage of Parks
Essentially every city has a park. If you want to connect with nature, an excellent way to do this is to find a park in your city and spend some time there. Whether you simply take a stroll, plan a picnic, or meet a friend for a workout, visiting a park is an easy way to get outside and connect with nature when you live in an urban area.
A few good parks in the Denver, Colorado, area include:
If getting outside is not an option for you, nothing is stopping you from bringing nature to you! You can still connect with nature and reap the benefits by bringing the outdoors into your home.
For example, you could start an indoor herb garden or get a few potted plants to decorate the interior of your home.
At Vivage, our care communities throughout Colorado and Missouri focus on improving the lives of those we serve through a holistic approach. This includes helping individuals connect with nature and explore the outdoors.