There are many positive reasons to live in the city. The buzzing energy of people and traffic can often seem appealing, career opportunities are bountiful and the close proximity to food, shopping and work is always nice.
Aside from all of these benefits, it can often be a struggle to embrace nature when you’re so deeply immersed in the city lifestyle. It is easy to begin feeling cooped up in tiny apartments and when stuck in bumper to bumper traffic. The rapid pace of the city can often take a toll, even on those with the highest energy levels. The importance of breaking free of this rather nature-less lifestyle and enjoying a deep breath of clean air can often be overlooked.
Spending time outdoors is an essential element to positive health. It can relieve stress, anxiety and even depression. A proper balance of vitamins, a little fresh air and the opportunity to get your heart pumping are important to self-care. There are many simple ways to focus on these needs, even while living a busy city lifestyle.
Some of the easiest include walking to and from your local market, coffee shops, restaurants and workplace. To ease your way into further distances (or for those with a sensitive timeline) you can always try walking one way and taking an Uber back. If the walk is too long overall, consider hopping on a bike so you can go further, faster and still have a chance to enjoy the trip. There are many bag, rack, hitch or tandem attachments you can add onto a bike to make it easier to carry equipment, groceries and even people!
Another great way to immerse yourself in nature is to get to know your local parks. They don’t have to be on an 800+ acre, Central Park scale to provide quality outdoor time. Even the smallest areas of greenery can offer some relief. You’d be surprised how much space even the most densely populated cities make sure to allocate toward parkland, with Chicago at 8.5% of total acreage and Los Angeles with 170+ available parks managed by their Parks and Recreation Department. Many city parks feature fitness stations, frisbee golf, basketball courts and more as well as organized programs that offer yoga, Pilates and other activities. Some cities even offer parks dedicated to more extreme sports such as mountain biking, such as the 1-5 Colonnade park in Seattle, Washington. From botanical gardens to skate parks and everything in between, you’re only a few Google searches away from a park near you.
Our natural instinct to adventure can often be challenged by a busy lifestyle. No matter where you may be, no matter your schedule, these tips make it easy to find an opportunity to immerse yourself in nature. Take the opportunity to open your windows to savor a few deep breaths of fresh air, to take a stroll or a bike ride through the park, to incorporate a little greenery into your surroundings. Indulging and embracing your instinctive inclination toward nature is always easier and more enjoyable than one may realize.