How Your Outdoor Environment Affects Your Well-Being

beautifully landscaped backyard with comfortable seating

Everyone knows the feeling of being invigorated after spending time outdoors in nature, but did you know that you can even enjoy these benefits in your backyard or front lawn with the help of some landscaping tips?

Studies show that the environment around us is more than just something to look at — it can affect our mental and physical health, and one of the most convenient places to enjoy nature is right out your door. Get on your sunglasses and get ready to learn about the benefits of spending time outside and how to maximize your well-being in your own yard.

Health benefits of being outdoors
Creates a positive mood
Boosts Vitamin D
Reduces stress
Get some exercise
How to maximize health benefits of being outdoors with landscaping
Add a water feature
Relax in comfort
Create a sensory garden
Keep your outdoor space clean
Choose colors carefully
Light up the night
Enjoy the privacy of your yard

Health benefits of being outdoors

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As mentioned above, numerous studies have demonstrated the benefits of spending time outdoors. These range from improving your mood to keeping your body strong.

Creates a positive mood

Immersing yourself in a beautiful landscape can instantly lift your spirits and create a positive mood. Natural elements like trees and flowers help to cultivate a healthy environment that is conducive to relaxation while providing fresh air. Additionally, outdoor activities such as gardening can give people a sense of accomplishment, further contributing to their overall satisfaction.

Boosts Vitamin D

Vitamin D plays an important role in the body by helping the cells in the gut absorb calcium and phosphorus, two minerals essential for strong bones. One of the easiest ways to get this vitamin is to spend time outside in the sun — and it doesn’t even take long. Just make sure you wear sunscreen, especially if you’re planning to be out long, because we all know it’s possible to get too much sun.

Reduces stress

Stepping into a peaceful, landscaped garden characteristic of cottages and other rustic homes can quickly reduce stress levels. Incorporating natural elements such as:

Water features – babbling brooks, bubbling fountains, and ponds that ripple in the wind
Trees – tall and strong oaks and maples that provide shade and shelter
Flowering plants – blossoming roses, lilies, orchids, and other vibrant flowers that bring beauty to any landscape can create a calming atmosphere. 

Studies have found that spending time outdoors is linked to lower cortisol levels which helps reduce stress. So take some time out of your day to spend some time in nature for your mental well-being.

Get some exercise

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Going outdoors makes it easier for you to get exercise, which helps keep you healthy and fit. It can be as easy as walking around your neighborhood or enjoying trails at a park. You can get plenty of exercise just in your own yard too.

Consider adding amenities like walking paths or exercise areas to promote physical activity. Starting a garden can also provide a great source of exercise; activities like digging, weeding, and planting in your front yard require some physical exertion and can be quite rewarding.

How to maximize health benefits of being outdoors with landscaping

Creating a beautiful and inviting outdoor living space can positively affect your health and well-being. Incorporating certain elements like water features and relaxing lighting into your landscape design can make it more enjoyable for everyone who visits and, most importantly — since you’ll see it almost every day — for you.

1. Add a water feature

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Adding a water feature to your backyard can instantly create a sense of tranquility and peace. Whether it’s a pool, hot tub, pond, fountain, or water garden, the sight and sound of running water has a calming effect that can help ease stress and provide an escape from noisy surroundings. Such features offer both aesthetic appeal and relaxation for homeowners. 

Smaller options include spilling bowls and stacked stone fountains, while fancier choices are available in pondless waterfalls. These provide the beauty of traditional falls without needing large pools of water.

2. Relax in comfort

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Enjoy the ultimate relaxation from comfortable furnishings in your backyard oasis. A cozy couch, a comfy lounge chair, or a chaise can all provide an ideal place to sit or recline and take it easy. Placing oversized chairs and chaise loungers allows you to stretch out and really unwind. A hammock is also a great addition as a spot to completely relax and breathe deeply. 

When choosing furniture, make sure to maximize comfort to encourage more time spent outdoors. This way, you can fully appreciate the beauty of nature and its benefits while enjoying your outdoor space even more.

3. Create a sensory garden

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Enhance your outdoor experience by engaging all of your senses with a sensory garden! Pollinator plants and bird feeders help to make the environment more pleasant to the eye. Water features create a calming ambiance through their trickling or flowing sounds, and fragrant plants can add an extra layer of sensory delight.

When it comes to touch, look to add interesting textures or soft foliage to create an enjoyable tactile experience. You can include areas with comfortable grass or soft ground to enjoy the pleasure of walking barefoot in your garden. All these elements together will help to create a truly immersive outdoor sanctuary that appeals to every sense.

4. Keep your outdoor space clean

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Keeping your outdoor space clean and organized looks great and helps you feel relaxed and at peace. Trim overgrown trees and hedges to maximize the potential of the outdoor area, while removing any unwanted or broken furniture and accessories. This will help create a refuge where you can relax and unwind from the stresses associated with urban living. 

Cleaning up the garden area is also another easy way to get in some exercise while fostering a connection with nature, making it easier to enjoy sun, shade, views, and fresh air. An organized space will provide an inviting atmosphere for entertaining guests or engaging in activities like swimming or exercising.

5. Choose colors carefully

One of the most important parts of landscaping design is color. Colors can have a powerful effect on the psyche and should be chosen carefully when landscaping. Some color theory tips for how to choose colors include:

— Consider the surrounding environment.
— Choose colors that you find pleasing and calming.
— Create a harmonious palette to create an inviting atmosphere.
— Incorporate muted hues for a timeless look.
— Avoid colors that are too bright or overwhelming.

Don’t forget that there are plenty of options for incorporating color. Plants, furniture, and decor are all easy ways to add some of your favorite hues to your yard.

6. Light up the night

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Lighting your outdoor space with soft, inviting glows can create a magical atmosphere that invites you to linger and relax. Properly placed outdoor landscape lighting can make the most of your sanctuary, allowing you to enjoy it at night. Skillfully placed lights can showcase water features or other areas of interest, adding charm and delight to the area.

7. Enjoy the privacy of your yard

Creating a sense of seclusion can instantly transform your backyard into an inviting haven of peace and quiet. Privacy screening plants, such as tall shrubs, thick bushes, hedges, or bamboo, are essential for this. Fences and walls of appropriate height also help to divide and isolate the space. If you want something bigger, you can always consider installing a pergola or similar structure.

Reap the Benefits of Being Outdoors

A well-designed landscape can provide numerous health benefits, from improved mental and physical well-being to lower stress levels. Whether it’s through adding plants, water features, or outdoor seating areas, landscaping can effectively improve your overall quality of life.

Taking the time to create an inviting outdoor space will not only give you a place to relax and enjoy nature, but you’ll also have the advantage of all the psychological benefits of being outdoors.

Not sure how to get started or don’t feel qualified to remake your yard to enjoy the benefits of being outdoors? Lawn Love connects you to the best landscapers near you who can turn your backyard into a mood booster helping you to relax and truly enjoy your yard.

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Staff Writer