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Gym memberships are overrated: Why pay someone when you can just go outside? Studies show that being in nature can reduce a person’s blood pressure, muscle tension, and heart rate. In addition to its physical benefits, nature also has the power to increase your mood. 

Here are five activities that can improve your health. 


Spending time in the great outdoors doesn’t need to be cinematic to benefit your health. Walking is one of the simplest things you can do to improve your health and live a better, longer life. If you haven’t exercised in a while, start small. Taking a short walk is better than not walking at all. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, brisk walking can help you:

  • Maintain a healthy weight 
  • Lose body fat 
  • Manage high blood pressure
  • Prevent heart disease, stroke, cancer, and Type 2 diabetes 
  • Improve balance and coordination  

Dog Park 

If you’re a pet parent, you may want to consider bringing your fur baby to the local dog park—doing so will benefit both you and your pooch. Studies show that spending time with your dog increases immune functioninglowers heart rate, and decreases pain. On an emotional level, connecting with your canine can make you happier, feel less lonely, and ease social discomfort. According to one study, dog owners (when compared to non-dog owners) spend an additional 22 minutes walking per day—that’s approximately 2,760 additional steps per day.


Not all outdoor activities have to be as intense as hiking or skiing. Stargazing, also known as “star bathing,” is one outdoor activity you can do to relieve stress and find mental peace. According to Mark Westmoquette, astrophysicist and author of “Mindful Thoughts for Stargazers,” star bathing can help improve your sleeping habits, too.

The best time to stargaze is during a New Moon or in the early hours of the morning. To get the full effect, you may want to put your phone away and allow your eyes to adjust—which could take up to 30 minutes

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Yoga is an excellent way to stay in shape and channel your thoughts. It also increases flexibilitymuscle strength, and tone and helps to improve athletic performance. Bonus: Yoga can be done just about anywhere, including your front yard or local park.  

Outdoor yoga is another way to tune into your inner truth and embrace mental peace. According to a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, being out in nature could lead to a lower risk of depression. 


Believe it or not, gardening has several physical and mental health benefits. On average, pulling weeds and planting flowers can help you burn 200-400 calories per hour. What’s more? Outdoor gardening may help your body fight off disease. 

According to a study published in Environmental Health Perspectives, one half-hour in the sun can produce up to 50,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D in your body. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient—without it, your body is at risk for weak bones and muscle weakness. 

Other benefits of gardening include decreased dementia riskreduced stress, and overall improved health and wellbeing

Whether you’re a hard-core fitness fanatic or an occasional walker, one thing’s for sure. Getting up and going outside is good for your physical health, and it can help your mental health as well.