Skip to main content

Sponsored Content

Amp Up Your Body and Mind Outdoors

Aug 25, 2015 04:33AM, Published by Family Features, Categories: Family Features, Family Features Home and Garden




It’s no secret that spending time outdoors is good for your health and well-being. From taking in fresh air during a walk through the park to taking advantage of the outdoor recreation facilities in your community, getting outside does a body good.

In the context of the nation’s obesity epidemic, parks and recreation spaces provide outlets for Americans to have much-needed physical activity with swimming pools, bike trails and various sports fields. Some communities even feature parks with amenities to encourage year-round use, such as plazas that feature ice skating rinks in the winter.

Beyond the mental health benefits associated with physical activity, spending time outdoors is good for the body, as well. Countless studies show the health benefits of nature when people who have been suffering from stress, sickness, or a trauma can spend quiet contemplative time in gardens or take to the mountains or woods to heal. In some communities, particularly in urban and low-income areas, playgrounds afford the only interaction many children have with nature.

People who live in communities that are walkable, have access to bike trails, and are near parks and green space have higher levels of health than those in communities lacking those amenities, according to Dr. Richard J. Jackson, former director of the National Center for Environmental Health and star of the PBS series “Designing Healthy Communities.”

What you may not realize is that significant work and planning goes into creating outdoor spaces that promote physical and mental well-being. Landscape architects help communities maximize opportunities for daily exercise like walking and biking, as well as places that optimize mental and physical restoration, such as therapeutic gardens.

Consider these tips to make the most of the active living designs, such as parks and plazas, in your community:

  • Mix up your routine so you take advantage of fresh scenery. Choose the path lined with trees shimmering their autumn colors or take a route that lets you appreciate the late season blooms in a manicured flower bed.
  • Get fit by exploring. The park closest to home may be most convenient, but venturing out to discover new outdoor recreation areas is a great way to keep active while enjoying a daily dose of nature.
  • Blend education and activity. Learning about the animals, such as birds, and all the vegetation that inhabit your favorite park makes it rewarding to enrich the body and the mind.
  • Think outside the box – box building, that is. Many parks and community centers offer outdoor versions of classes traditionally held inside. Yoga, aerobics, swimming, even group walks are possibilities worth exploring.
  • Remember to practice smart hydration: protect the environment by carrying a refillable water bottle that lets you keep thirst at bay and your body temperature in check.

To learn more about how landscape architects design the environment to work for you, visit asla.org/design.

Photo Credits:

Photo of slide: ASLA 2009 Honor Award. Teardrop Park, New York City, by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates Inc. Photo by Nilda Cosco, Natural Learning Initiative, College of Design, NC State University, Raleigh, NC.

Photo of school: ASLA 2011 Honor Award. Manassas Park (Virginia) Elementary School Landscape by Siteworks. Photo by Siteworks.

Sponsored by American Society of Landscape Architects


Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Cabarrus Magazine's free newsletter to catch every headline



Family Features Family Features Home and Garden


  • Small Business Saturday

    06/24/2017
    08:00AM — 09:00PM

    Make a purchase in any of the participating businesses in Downtown Concord and enter a drawing to...


  • PIEDMONT FARMERS MARKET

    06/24/2017
    08:00AM

    • Open year-round. Fresh local produce, honey, free-range eggs, antibiotic- and hormone-free beef...


  • Summer Kickoff Party

    06/24/2017
    09:00AM — 05:00PM

    Kick stands up! Time to kick off summer with a bang. Come and enjoy live music featuring Ethan Ha...


  • Beer Mile

    06/24/2017
    09:00AM

    Registration starts at 9:00 • First group is at 9:30 • Next group goes at 10:00 • Then the rel...


  • North Carolina (PSI-NC) is a new nonprofit dedicated to assisting North Carolina families and the...


  • Join us in beautiful Downtown Concord for the Summer Sidewalk Sale on Saturday, June 24, 2017! ...


  • Family Day @ The Cabarrus Arts Council

    06/24/2017
    10:00AM — 02:00PM

    Join the Cabarrus Arts Council for Family Day, this Saturday June 24 from 10 - 2 p.m. in The Gall...


  • The 2017 Independence Celebration will be Saturday, June 24th @5pm.


  • Birding in the Sandhills

    06/24/2017
    06:00PM

    Attention bird enthusiasts and those of the like! Join Ranger Fields and local birder extraordina...


  • Live Music at CBC : John Sullivan

    06/24/2017
    07:30PM — 10:00PM

    Looking for a little entertainment while you enjoy a fresh local craft beer? Well, this is the ev...


  • Dorothy in Wonderland

    06/24/2017
    07:30PM — 09:00PM

    Dorothy in Wonderland opens Friday June 16th, 2017 at 7:30pm Come see local youth actors from ...


  • Dorothy in Wonderland

    06/25/2017
    07:30PM — 09:00PM

    Dorothy in Wonderland opens Friday June 16th, 2017 at 7:30pm Come see local youth actors from ...


  • Renaissance Classical Preschool Summer Camp

    06/27/2017
    07:00AM — 06:00PM

    Renaissance Classical Preschool Summer camp June 12th-August 4th. Our Summer camp is designed to ...


  • A VET TOGETHER

    06/27/2017
    09:00AM — 11:00AM

    • Join Cabarrus Veterans Coalition the first Tuesday of each month at Carm’s for free coffee and ...


  • A Vet Together

    06/27/2017
    09:00AM — 11:00AM

    Join Cabarrus Veterans Coalition at Carm's Cafe every Tuesday morning for A Vet Together! Fre...


  • Local Organic Farmers Market

    06/28/2017
    04:00AM — 06:00PM

    Enjoy high quality, locally sourced produce from certified organic farmers. Support these hard-wo...


  • Renaissance Classical Preschool Summer Camp

    06/28/2017
    07:00AM — 06:00PM

    Renaissance Classical Preschool Summer camp June 12th-August 4th. Our Summer camp is designed to ...


  • Earth Fare Grand Opening

    06/28/2017
    07:00AM — 09:00PM

    Earth Fare, the authentic specialty organic and natural food grocery store, invites the greater C...


  • Body Sculpt

    06/28/2017
    05:30PM — 06:30PM

    A combination of traditional body sculpting methods using free weights, resistance bands and your...


  • CBC Trivia Night

    06/28/2017
    07:00PM

    Cabarrus Brewing Co’s weekly Trivia Night hosted by KanePunch Comedy’s Patrick & Joel is held eve...


  • Namaste and have a Beer

    06/28/2017
    07:00PM — 08:00PM

    Join us at Twenty-Six Acres every Wednesday for Yoga with Jill Falconer Yoga! Classes are $10 and...


  • Renaissance Classical Preschool Summer Camp

    06/29/2017
    07:00AM — 06:00PM

    Renaissance Classical Preschool Summer camp June 12th-August 4th. Our Summer camp is designed to ...


  • TODDLER STORY TIME

    06/29/2017
    10:30AM

    • Children from walking age to three years old with caregiver. Songs, stories, finger plays follo...


  • The Miss Harrisburg July 4th Pageant will take place on Thursday, June 29, 2017 at Hickory Ridge ...


  • Kannapolis Farmers Market

    06/29/2017
    04:00PM — 07:00PM

    The Kannapolis Farmers Market will be held every Thursday, 4-7pm May through September, at the co...


Get Cabarrus Magazine Delivered to Your Door!

Subscribe today!


PROUDLY BROUGHT TO YOU BY THESE COMMUNITY SPONSORS


Carolina Pizza Huts
Cabarrus Economic Development
DefyGravity Charlotte
Twenty-Six Acres Brewing Company
Kannapolis Intimidators