It’s not a new idea that going outside can improve your cognitive, social and physical well-being, but new research is coming out nearly every day to keep people moving in the right direction. This idea that nature can help us be happier, healthier people is not just for kids though the movement may have started to stop kids from experiencing a “nature-deficit disorder.” Last Child in the Woods refreshed the idea and started the movement to get kids back into nature and are pushing to get people out in trails and parks instead of prescribing pills, but the young are not the only ones who can benefit from time with nature. Studies have shown it can help adults’ lower stress and lose weight all while making us happy.
Can the gym make you as happy and eager to return as the trails through the local nature preserve? Not according to recent studies. The Journal of Aging Health has published a study showing that spending time outdoors daily can help us stay healthier as we get older. All of these studies have reinforced what many of us have long believed: the importance of developing safe, accessible spaces outside for people to use and enjoy. Parks, trails, playgrounds, outdoor sport courts, community gardens and splash pads are not just for entertainment, but play a vital role in the well-being of our society.