- With technology seemingly having everything to offer at home, at work and even at the gym, we often forget how good nature can be.
We wake up at our comfortable homes to get dressed and hurry to the car and head to work. The next 8 or more hours of our lives are spent in a closed office handling work responsibilities before we head back home to tackle a different kind of chores and responsibilities.
At the end of the day, we wind down with a good movie or we spend some time on our laptops and iPads. At the weekend, most of us head to their favorite pub, club or cafe, go catch a movie in theaters or spend days doing chores and then enjoying some peaceful time with a good meal and a good TV show at home.
If you haven’t already seen the red flag in this all too common daily routine most of us have, let me bring it to your attention: we don’t spend any time outdoors or connecting with nature.
It is no wonder, then, when our health and our appearance start to show the consequences of this lifestyle. After all, we humans were not made to live so isolatedly from our natural environment.
Let me tell you how to enjoy nature and its spoils for a healthy body, a peaceful mind, and a radiant appearance.
Food is always a great way to start when you are looking to improve your health. Food is how nature nourishes us and provides us with all the goodness we need to look and feel good, including the best anti-inflammatory foods.
These colorful gifts nature has been proven to aid against several diseases through several scientific research published in the Journal of Geriatric Cardiology.
Every time you go grocery shopping, you need to see this concept in mind and stay away from anything processed. Don’t buy anything that contains chemicals or contains ingredients you cannot pronounce. Instead, enjoy foods in the form closest to what nature produced.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are the best things you can eat, grains should be whole as they naturally are in nature instead of refines by us humans, meats should be organic and grass-fed when possible, and canned and frozen food should be chemical-free. Enjoying a wholesome diet is one of the biggest gateways to health and beauty.
Get active outdoors
In our frantic trips from home to car to work, and back, we often miss out on even the little things nature pops in front of us in the few seconds in between.
We don’t look at the sky, enjoy a wildflower or breathe the fresh air. It is only fair that when you have the time for leisure, you enjoy more time outdoors.
If you do most of your exercise at the gym or through home videos, try to dedicate at least your cardio time to outdoor activities. Go running on a trail nearby or switch indoor cycling with outdoors cycling and enjoy the quick weight loss.
Walking a total of 10 thousand steps every day has been linked to health benefits such as weight loss, improved mental health and lower chances of cardiovascular diseases, through several types of research.
On the weekends, plan a challenging hike where you get to enjoy the beautiful scenery, breathe in the fresh refreshing air, and sweat at the same time. During warmer weather, go for a swim and burn those calories while having fun in the water under the sky and the warm sun.
It’s okay to drink
Drinking is often frowned upon by health and fitness enthusiasts. However, research has found that drinking can actually be beneficial when done right, and highlight the words ‘done right’ because done wrong, drinking can obviously be very counterproductive.
One glass of red wine daily in the evening with the biggest meal of the day has actually proven to decrease the incidence of cardiovascular diseases, according to research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
The study investigated a group of 224 type 2 diabetes sufferers who were guided to follow a Mediterranean diet and drink 5 ounces of either water, white wine or red wine every day with dinner.
At the end of the 2-year course of the study, the group that drank red wine was the only group with a significant decrease in the components of metabolic syndrome. The red wine group also showed a significant increase in good HDL cholesterol levels compared to the water-drinking group.
What does the above tell us?
You can let yourself be pampered by nature’s vineyard creations and reap the benefits of red wine.
Ischemic heart disease (Coronary heart disease) and stroke occupy the top 2 positions for death causes in most countries, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), and any help fighting these conditions is welcome, especially if it comes in a beautiful glass cup.
Just keep in mind that cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer are also among the top 10 death causes, and don’t exceed the one cup per night recommendation.
With technology seemingly having everything to offer at home, at work and even at the gym, we often forget how good nature can be. The truth is, nothing can be as good to us as nature’s gift.
Whether it is nourishing food, fresh air and beautiful surroundings or a glass of red wine that is bursting with flavor and antioxidants, getting back to nature is sure to lead to better physical health, better mental health, and a beautiful smile.
The areas we discussed above are a start that you can build on later, embracing more of nature’s gifts and reaping the benefits.
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Anne Danahy, MS, RDN is a registered dietitian, integrative nutritionist, and freelance nutrition writer.