Spending time in nature is the best way to refuel your body and your mind
Nature is the best medicine, and spending at least 120 minutes a week in nature is associated with good health and wellbeing. Whether you are going for a walk at the park or decided to go for a hike, being outdoors is always a positive choice. It is human nature to spend time outdoors, so it’s not weird that it has a significant effect on our mind and body. Furthermore, a growing body of epidemiological evidence indicates that greater exposure to, or ‘contact with’, natural environments (such as parks, woodlands and beaches) is associated with better health and wellbeing, at least among populations in high income, largely urbanized, societies.
From everyday walking, going to the beach, listening to relaxing sounds of nature, such as birds singing, going to the mountains, doing extreme sporting activities, or relaxing next to a calming lake — nature has many things to offer.
One of the main reasons people spend their time in nature is relaxing, especially from everyday stress. Many actions can reduce stress; planting, watching the animals, especially the wild ones, walking barefoot, communicating with the Earth, etc. Also, people often find nature as their muse. Many photographers spend their time in nature trying to catch a perfect moment, and there are plenty of them. Spending time in nature means you’ll be exposed to natural light, which aids our bodies to regulate our sleep patterns. As the night draws in, our brains will release the proper melatonin levels, which helps us get a good night’s sleep. Spending quality time in nature could be defined as returning to “factory settings”.
Mother nature gave us a lot, and Croatia is a country that is lucky enough to have many of its treasures. For example, in Dalmatia, you can find some of the most beautiful mountains in this area. Biokovo, Mosor, Velebit, Risnjak and Učka are home to many animal and plant species. Most of them are nature parks or national parks and are perfect for relaxing or escaping your everyday city life. These mountains also offer hiking trails that will take you to some of the most beautiful landscapes. While hiking, you can enjoy the beauty of Croatian nature, which is very calming and benefits your health in many ways. Camping is also one of the most famous outdoor activities, especially near national parks in Croatia, but camping at national parks is forbidden! Kornati, Krka, Paklenica and Plitvice Lakes are national parks that will leave you speechless. You can find locations near them where you can put up a camping tent and relax with your family, friends or partner. Plitvice Lakes is the first and biggest national park in Croatia. They are protected by UNESCO because of their outstanding universal value. One of the most significant camping grounds in continental Croatia is only a 3-minute ride away from Plitvice Lakes, and it’s called Korana because of the Korana River Canyon. That is a perfect place for spending a night after enjoying the beauty of Plitvice Lakes National Park. One of the important health benefits of camping is that it reduces stress by removing common triggers like work pressure, traffic and the rush of city life, replacing them with the calming effect of bird song, the sound of waves crashing on the beach and the wind in the trees. The real thing is much more therapeutic than anything you’ll find on your MP3.
Even though being outdoors is the best fuel for our body and mind itself, many types of therapies include nature. For example, at the Salt beach at Kamp Šimuni, you can try curative halotherapy treatments that strengthen the body and the immune system, as well as relaxing classical and Thai massages that bring balance to your body, mind and spirit. Also, near Kamp Šimuni, on the southwest part of the City of Pag, you can relax with mud therapy and experience its healing properties, as well as relaxing and revitalizing effects. Mud therapy is one such excellent cure that you can use to solve so many ailments. Slowly gaining popularity globally, mud therapy can help you in many ways- from improving your skin, getting rid of rashes, and keeping you disease-free.
However, spending quality time is not planned only for summer. There are plenty of outdoor activities you can do in autumn and winter, especially in Dalmatia. You can try wild river rafting, go on a cruise around Dalmatian islands, go fishing etc. Also, visiting Plitvice Lakes National Park during winter is one of the best decisions you will make. Winter in Croatia offers many activities in nature, such as skiing at many Croatian resorts or admiring the beauty of snowy forests. During the spring or autumn season, places you should visit are rural places in Croatia, such as Lika, Baranja, Rastoke and Grožnjan. Those places offer you a calming experience, traditional food and a whisper of nature. Here you can enjoy the relaxing sounds of nature without any interruptions.
Spending time in nature is the best way to stay calm, benefit your health, and feel present in the moment. It increases levels of vitamin D, and it also boosts happiness. No matter if you go for a hike or you’re just taking a walk with your dog at the local park, enjoying nature is something you can’t pay for. Escaping the crowd and everyday stress is a perfect recipe for healing your mind and body, especially if you live in a noisy concrete jungle. There is an enormous amount of quotes praising the beauty of nature, but we are bringing you one of the most beautiful; “It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.” — Robert Louis Stevenson.