Outdoor Activities Critical for Physical, Emotional Health

Quarantine has led to a new sort of normal: we wake up, do homework, then watch an incessant amount of Netflix. Our lives seem dependent on a screen, for both school and recreational activities. As a result, we have trapped ourselves indoors.

While we may not be able to meet up with friends, we do need to get out of the house. Taking a hike or just a walk around the neighborhood has many benefits. A breath of fresh air helps rejuvenate us after long periods glued to our precious pixels.

According to a study done by the University of Michigan, walking in nature can improve short term memory. Additionally, viewing pictures with natural landscapes has an effect on cognitive function, allowing it to restore information easier.

Furthermore, being outdoors is an immensely therapeutic activity. Breaking routine and being present in nature can lower cortisol levels, a stress hormone.

With escalating school work, AP tests, and other end-of-year activities, it may seem impossible to find a respite. But the solution is quite simple: Take a walk.

Walking in nature is associated with lower levels of anxiety and exercising outside can improve one’s self esteem.

Harvard Health Publishing also notes that vitamin D from sunlight helps prevent cancer, heart attacks, and depression.

The health benefits of being outside are numerous, as are the trail options in Moraga. For example, the ridge lines for which the town is famous offer a beautiful place to go on a picnic and soak up some rays. The Moraga Country Club golf course is also a fun place with walking trails.

Whether it’s on some difficult hiking path or in your backyard, going outside is easy. There is no excuse, get out there and take a breath. As summer weather becomes more frequent, we should commit some time everyday to being present in the outdoors.