Can Your Health and Happiness Benefit From Moving to the Country?

The year 2020 saw an exodus from major cities, with many Americans seeking to embrace the chance to work remotely in a greener, more liberating space. As reported by the World Economic Forum, being cooped up in small apartments for months on end has proved to be a mental burden for many. Recently, nearly half of all adults in the U.S. said they would prefer to live in a small town or rural area. If you are attracted by the idea of packing your things up and heading to the countryside, your health and wellness will enjoy many benefits, some of which are explored below.

Country Living And Stress Reduction

Green space stops you from feeling blue – at least, it significantly lowers stress levels, as found in a study by K Malecki and colleagues. The study showed that people who live near green areas have lesser symptoms of depression and anxiety. They are also more able to focus, since ‘green time’ resets, as it were, your attention span and helps you attain the state of mindfulness that is conducive to learning, focus and calmness. As reported by residential and land experts TexasLand, people moving to the country often seek spaces with natural features nearby. That is, modern ranches not only contain stunning design elements, but they also boast views over lush greenery, lakes, ponds, and other features that help turn a home into an oasis. Many rural communities are well planned, and have nearby stores, community gyms, and a bevy of restaurants and cafés, thus making rural life more convenient and entertaining.

The Chance To Exercise Outdoors

When you live next to a lush forest or a serene lake, you don’t need an expensive gym membership to stay active. Just put on your training gear and head out for a brisk walk or run, since the countryside usually offers a host of treks and trail walks that vary in intensity and length. You can burn up to 7% more calories when running outdoors compared to on a treadmill, owing to factors such as wind resistance and changes in the terrain. Outdoor exercise is also more fun: a University of Michigan study showed that people who exercise outside have an over 10% improvement in psychological wellbeing. In the study, participants reported that being outdoors helped them connect with their inner self, re-evaluate what mattered to them in life, and disconnect from their smartphones.

So Many Activities To Enjoy

Being outdoors isn’t always about fitness; it also offers you the chance to take part in so many activities focused on fun. Think water skiing, forest bathing, enjoying outdoor picnics, meeting friends and family for a game of football or baseball, taking part in outdoor yoga sessions, and drawing and sketching animals and plants outdoors. All these activities can actually help you at work or at school. One study by L Leyland and colleagues showed that people who take part in outdoor activities such as biking enjoy significant improvements in executive function (which is related to memory and control). Even if you are indoors taking part in your favorite hobby and you can see the greenery through a window, know that you are passively yet powerfully working on lowering your stress levels.

Recent world events have led many Americans to make a move to country settings. Doing so produces many benefits – including a reduction in stress. The green life also offers you the chance to enjoy a bevy of activities amidst calming natural settings that can sharpen attention and focus.