Spending time outside can calm your worried mind and improve your mental health.
Nature has long been known to have a calming effect on the mind and body. In our busy, high-tech world, exercising or relaxing outdoors can relieve stress and recharge your mind and body.
How Nature Helps Us
Nature can promote mindfulness and instill a sense of gratitude. The natural light is thought to help regulate your body clock and improve quality of sleep. Getting outside encourages you to unplug from technology and focus on others around you. Engage in a group activity like volleyball or frisbee. Walk with a friend. Make new connections while improving your physical health through exercise.
My own time in nature has improved my well-being. I enjoy listening to music and improving my physical health and strength. Below are my favorite spots to enjoy ‘nature’ therapy in Monmouth County, NJ.
A 1600 acre park in Old Bridge, NJ, Cheesequake Park has beautiful scenery and great hiking trails. There are at least 4 main trails that go from marsh to lake to woods. I suggest the 3.5 mile green loop trail. Also a nice trail for mountain biking.
Holmdel Park is another great park for hiking. Jogging paths, nature trails, playgrounds and a real, working farm for children. There are also tennis courts and fishing (with permit). Hiking trails run from easy/flat to moderate, up to small incline. Holmdel Park also has grassy areas where you can lay out and relax.
The Henry Hudson Trail is a great biking or running trail that winds through several towns along the way to the Jersey Shore. This train runs for 24 miles from Matawan to the Atlantic Highlands. It’s relatively flat and paved so even novice exercisers can feel comfortable. Trees along the way create a nice shade canopy. The Bayshore Trail runs along the shore.