Written by Rhian Hunter
Do you have time off or a holiday planned for this season? With all the interstate and overseas travel restrictions in place, now is the perfect time to get outside and explore our naturally diverse region and state.
Forget retail therapy, trading your city stay for some time in the great outdoors will have significant and wide-ranging health benefits. Spending time outside regularly can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, high blood pressure and stress.
A new study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research found that exposure to green space significantly reduced people’s levels of salivary cortisol — a physiological marker of stress.
Plenty of research also suggests that exercise is great for mental health, particularly when it’s done outside. However this study found that physical activity was not necessary to increase well-being, simply being in green space for 20 minutes was enough to spark a change.
Holidays or not, we should all make the effort to find a bit of green space and spend some time there. The Botanical Gardens, The Esplanade, or Arkarra Tea Gardens (just to name a few spots) are perfect examples of where you can go to get your green space fix.
With all these spaces right on our doorstep, there’s really no excuse for not taking some time out in them before or after work, or during your lunch breaks.
And if you are lucky enough to have holidays? Why not take a trip over to Fraser and try forest bathing (natural aromatherapy) in the Valley of Giants, take a yoga class (with me) in our Balinese Style Open Air Studio, or catch the last of the Pick Your Own Strawberry season in Bargara.
It is such a gift to live in a place with a mild climate, to breathe clean fresh air and be surrounded by so much beautiful scenery.
Don’t take it for granted, bank some Vitamin D and start spending a little time out somewhere in our glorious green surrounds.