The Power of the Outdoors

The fragrance of flowers fills up the expanse to the cerulean sky. A light breeze blows gently past. The grass glistens at the touch of flickering sunbeams. The scene in all its glory seems like a unique pocket of the world where wonders burst forth from every corner. The unfortunate reality is most folks never get to appreciate it.

Taking time to enjoy nature may sometimes seem trivial nowadays, as the world continues to engross itself in its humdrum, daily routine. In truth, however, stepping back a moment to soak in all the splendor and beauty that surrounds us is more important than ever before.

In fast-paced times so fixated on productivity, on progressing one more step, on reaching one more mark, we often lose touch with the very entity that lies just beyond the windowsill. We forget about the beauty deeply rooted in our backyards and parks. We forget about the power of the outdoors.

I find this incredibly sad and unfortunate. To me, there's something about the outdoors that simply infuses a new type of energy in us. There's something about it that galvanizes our spirits, invigorates us, exhilarates us. The fresh air washes over us like a wave of revitalizing power, sustaining our very souls.

And I'm not the only one senses this; science has proven that the outdoors is quite salubrious for us, too. A 2011 study published in Environmental Science & Technology reported that individuals who engaged in some form of outdoor physical activity came away with more vigor and less mental tension than individuals who performed activity indoors.

Moreover, research conducted at the University of Texas produced a rather similar conclusion. In the experiment, the group of volunteers who were given some outdoor time following a tense virtual car ride recorded significantly lower stress levels than the volunteers who were not provided that outdoor opportunity.

Clearly, spending some time in the fresh air is full of untold benefits for us as we journey through daily life. As a consequence, before the sun sets on summer, I am asking individuals to find some way of incorporating a little more outdoor time in their lives. It can be as simple as riding a bike or taking a brisk walk, or it can be as grand as hiking through a national park. At any rate, it's about getting out every so often to appreciate the gems that nature holds.

As revered naturalist John Muir once said, "Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world." Clearly, those words would do us much good to recognize today. Now is the time to explore and enjoy the intricacies of the outdoors that are so magnificently laid out before us.