Strategies for stress management: Exploring movement and nature (Part 2)

Discover strategies for stress management by exploring movement and nature from Integrative Nutrition Health Coach & Functional Medicine Practitioner @The Endearing Project, Margareta Serfozo.

This stress management mini-series was created to honour April's Stress Awareness Month, offering practical tips to help you tackle stress and boost your wellbeing.

In the second part of the series, let's explore how spending time in nature and exercising can be game changers when it comes to managing stress.

Stress management through movement and nature

Exercising and reconnecting with nature: a double win

Getting out into nature and incorporating movement into our daily routine can work wonders for our stress levels and overall wellbeing. Nature has this incredible ability to calm our minds and bodies, giving us a break from the chaos of everyday life.

For centuries, numerous cultures have acknowledged the vital role of the natural world in promoting human health. In Japan they practice "forest bathing" or “shinrin-yoku” that involves engaging in slow, mindful activities such as short walks or longer excursions in natural settings. This practice has been shown to greatly enhance both physical and psychological wellbeing, by allowing individuals to soak up the healing benefits of nature and nurture a profound connection with it.

Engaging in physical activity has been found to release endorphins, which act as natural painkillers and mood enhancers, thus helping to reduce stress and enhance mood. When we combine the advantages of spending time in nature with movement, we create a powerful synergy that improves our ability to cope with stress. Recent research suggests that although exercising outdoors doesn't necessarily provide greater benefits than indoor workouts, people perceive outdoor exercise environments as more relaxing. Moreover, participating in exercise in calming surroundings is associated with greater reductions in stress levels.

Taking small steps forward

Spending time outdoors every day can uplift our mood. We can begin by incorporating 15–20-minute walks and observe how our energy shifts. It's best to start with small, achievable changes that fit easily into our daily routine. Consistency is key, as always. Engaging in physical activity allows us to fully immerse ourselves in the present moment, shifting our focus away from worries and anxieties. Whether it's a leisurely stroll through a scenic park with our children, swimming, hiking, or cycling, each step we take in nature brings us closer to a state of inner peace and harmony.

In conclusion, exploring nature and incorporating movement into our lives are valuable tools for managing stress and enhancing overall quality of life. By engaging in physical activity outdoors we can enjoy the countless benefits that nature has to offer. From reducing stress and improving mood to fostering mindfulness and gratitude, spending time outdoors and moving our bodies are essential components of a holistic approach to wellbeing.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for educational purposes. The information, or comments herein, does not amount to, or replace, professional advice and should not be relied upon as or substitute for professional or medical advice from a qualified professional.

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Author Details

Margareta Serfozo

Integrative Nutrition Health Coach & Corporate Mental Health Facilitator

Specialising in women's health and fertility, Margareta created The Endearing Project to support, guide and enable her clients to follow their own path to wellbeing through lifestyle and behavioural guidance, and wellness, health and fertility coaching.

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