Embrace the Outdoors

Even a walk around your block can benefit both body and mind, but additional perks can be had from diving deeper into Mother Nature. Here, David Bethany shares ideas for making the most of your time outside this summer.

  • Enter wild environs, like Cypress Gardens in Moncks Corner, pictured here. Bethany points to the Japanese practice of “Shinrin-Yoku,” which translates to “forest bathing.”  Studies have found the practice to be associated with increased vigor; decreased depression, anxiety, and anger; and even a strengthened immune system. 
  • Seek out water. In the 2014 book Blue Mind, marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols asserts that being in or around water can trigger “a mildly meditative state characterized by calm, peacefulness, unity, and a sense of general happiness and satisfaction with life in the moment.” “Water reduces our sensory input,” adds Bethany. “Waves can provide a kind of visual white-noise effect.”
  • Pitch a tent. If you’re struggling with insomnia, consider a camping trip. Studies show that just two nights of camping can help reset your internal clock.


STAY SAFE IN A SUMMER SCORCHER: 

  • Avoid peak sunlight hours (between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.). If exploring outdoors during midday, take frequent breaks in the shade.
  • Stock up on water. Staying hydrated helps your body maintain a safe internal temperature. Also load up on bug spray (see page 8 for the active ingredients to look for).
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing that provides UV protection; sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher; UV-blocking sunglasses; and/or a hat.

 

Written by Molly Ramsey
Photography by Taylor Lauren Barker

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