Up your Dosage of Vitamin N – Nature!
Posted by Medavie Blue Cross on May 26, 2022
Being in nature is ingrained in our DNA, so when we’re breathing in the fresh air, listening to the birds sing, smelling the fragrant aroma of cedars and pines, we’re not only awakening our senses, we’re reconnecting with ourselves.
Getting away from it all and communing with nature has restorative and stress-relieving powers that few other activities can match. It’s an all-natural remedy that can help treat what ails us, be it moderate depression or hypertension. And, after more than two years of COVID-19-related stressors, there’s never been a better time to reconnect with nature.
Since the pandemic, more and more of us have been doing just that, the research shows. A study by Kampgrounds of America (KOA), found that 25% of North Americans had enjoyed their very first camping trip in 2020.
Camping is just one outdoor activity that’s making a comeback as people look to escape the four walls of their homes. Sales of bikes, boats, paddle boards and pools are all soaring, while Google Trends data shows a significant jump in interest in outdoor recreation. Fresh-air sports and hobbies like golf, fishing, gardening and birding are all experiencing surge in popularity.
It’s easy to understand why. During the pandemic, the great outdoors has become a lifeline, offering a place for solace, fitness and safe socialization. Whether it be a walk in the local park or a hike on a mountain trail, being active in nature has helped boost our moods, kept us in shape and built resilience.
Now that COVID-19 restrictions are lifting, opening up more opportunities to go beyond our balconies or backyards, how will you spend your summer holidays? Given the health benefits of being outdoors, we hope your vacation plans increase your dosage of Vitamin “N” as in nature.
Studies suggest that spending time in green space — be it nature preserves, woodlands, or even urban parks — can lower stress levels, which in turn can reduce the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.
In fact, one study led by the University of Exeter’s European Centre for Environment & Human Health, found that people who spent two hours a week in a natural environment, either at once, or spaced over several visits, were substantially more likely to report good health and psychological wellbeing than those who didn’t. In short, it takes only 120 minutes to get a dose of nature high enough to feel healthier, physically and mentally.
So what outdoor activity feeds your mind, body and soul? Tourism guides are filled with fun-in-the-sun adventures for the entire family, from rock climbing to floating down a lazy river. Check the lists of things to see and do in each of Canada’s provinces and territories and plan a holiday that allows you to rest and refuel. After a rollercoaster of emotions and change, we all need to recharge our batteries — and we can’t think of a better way to do it than surrounded by nature.