To slow down the hectic pace of daily life, step outside. Breathe in the morning air, watch the sunrise or set, feel the breeze on your face, watch the rainfall. People need to get outdoors and be a part of nature to reset the day and ease the mind. Living in Austin with so many outdoor wonders to visit and commune with, it’s easy to step outside and unwind.
There are many healthful benefits to going outside. Even just by going for a daily walk is great exercise even if it’s not regimented. Or, when we face daily stresses, going for a relaxing walk or jog can help clear the mind. Believe it or not, it can boost both your creativity and your focus just by breathing in some fresh air. When you spend time outdoors, for even as little as ten minutes, it can improve your mood and overall disposition.
What to do?
One of the perks that current residents love and why people often move to Austin, is for the green scenery. With all the beautiful areas in Austin, here are some extra relaxing parks to enjoy.
Zilker Metropolitan Park
The gem of downtown Austin and home to Barton Springs, a large playscape, the Zilker Eagle train ride, plus, over four hundred acres of woodlands and sports fields. Zilker Park is nestled against Lady Bird Lake on one side and is interlaced with bike and hiking trails. Its spring-fed pool has a gravel bottom with naturally clear water which stays at 69 degrees all year. The miniature train ride which goes around the park the kids and grandkids will enjoy riding. The most significant events include hosting Austin City Limits, Blues on the Green, and numerous music, food, and family friendly festivals.
Mount Bonnell Park
This park is a beautiful place to spend the day and relax on the weekend, or just walk in during the week. It has a breathtaking view from the peak to admire. There are steps that let you enjoy a walk to the top. However, if you have trouble with steps, then park in the parking lot at the north end. There’s a path there that will take you around the steps and get you to the peak easier.
This is an interesting park to visit because it has walking trails through hills and forests; and its also part garden. There are peacocks roaming all through the gardens, including exotic white ones. There are places for to enjoy picnics and it’s a natural place in the heart of Austin to have a relaxing moment and to take a stroll.
Barton Creek Greenbelt
A local favorite, also referred to as just the Greenbelt, this hiking and swimming hot spot is perfect for your wellness fix. With numerous entrances and exits you can be sure to find either very populated spots or empty sanctuaries along the trails. Sitting along the creek with relaxing sounds of water and nature nesseling will be sure to ease any stressful tension.
With mental wellness benefits, there are also additional health benefits that come with being outside. When you’re out in the sunshine, it will increase your Vitamin D levels. This is important because when your levels are increased, this can help prevent chronic diseases. Plus, Vitamin D also helps fight colds, flu, and infections. With proper Vitamin D levels, the body better regulates the immune system.
Another benefit of spending time outdoors is called grounding. This is when you take off your shoes and put your bare feet on the ground, touching the earth. The flow of energy from your body to the earth will allow negative electrons to be absorbed through the soles of your feet. By walking barefoot at times, it can reduce inflammation, improve your sleep, relieve pain and enhance well-being to just name a few positive effects.
Grounding can also help to calm the sympathetic nervous system and that supports the variability of your heart rate. When your heart rate is supported then it balances your autonomic nervous system. When all these are working properly, then your entire body and its functions are improved.
There are so many reasons to go outside and enjoy nature–what are you waiting for?
Jake Hill is a blogger and marketing wizard for LawnStarter, an Austin-based company connecting homeowners with lawn care professionals through an online and mobile platform.