Experiencing nature isn’t just a good way to enjoy the outdoors; in fact, research shows that spending more time outside can actually improve your health and well-being. According to a study by Frontiers, those who spend just 20 minutes in a location where they feel connected to nature experience a drop in stress hormones.
Spending time in nature has many more healing effects. It can improve brain cognitive function, boosts melatonin, combats depression and releases airborne toxins from the body.
In addition to the health benefits, simply put, engulfing yourself in nature is an ideal way to relax and regroup.
Horseback riding is just one of my passions, although I didn’t become familiar with the sport of polo until I was in my 30s. Through my love of horses, I wanted to create a vacation destination that would appeal to people who share my enthusiasm of horseback riding, so I established Ocala Ranch for those who simply enjoy saddling up and hitting the trails.
My passion for Ocala and its surrounding horse country began the moment I visited the area in 2010. I was stunned by the natural beauty of this precious landscape that is home to some of the world’s most famous race horses. Stepping onto the ranch feels like taking a step back in time when things were simpler and people could connect to each other, and to nature.
I realize plenty has been written about the benefits of taking a vacation – from lowering anxiety and stress to giving you a better outlook on life – and the positive health benefits are great. However, it has been my mission to create new experiences for others to enjoy like experiencing nature from a unique vantage point in its purest form. Regular guests of Ocala Ranch know this well, which is why so many return to renew and restore. It places guests in the midst of nature, where they can settle into ranch life, opting to ride horses and breathe in the fresh air.
No matter where you decide to experience the outdoors, make sure to choose the nature experience that’s the most accessible and therapeutic for you. Spending time in the woods, park, or even your garden can bring big benefits for your well-being. Even if horses aren’t your passion, there’s plenty of unique opportunities to experience the absolute best places of nature in the world.
From Banff National Park in Canada where untouched, pristine beauty awaits, to The Everglades in Florida, to the Great Barrier Reef or Mt. Everest, you can prep your own personal “nature’s bucket list. If you can’t make it on a nature vacation, don’t worry: even viewing scenes of woodlands and meadows on a computer screen may do some good.
If you want to maximize the benefits of nature, try to experience the outdoors without distractions like technology. It’s really about unplugging and being present in the moment. Soak it up!
Remember, it’s okay to start small. Even people who love nature may not take part with it as much as they would like. You can begin by committing to spending just 5 minutes every day in a space connected to nature.