By Katherine Palms
Have you ever noticed how much better you feel after a hike or beach adventure in Leelanau County?
There is no hiding the direct relationship between spending time in nature and the enhancement of personal well-being.
Research in a scientific field called ecotherapy has shown a strong connection between time spent in nature and reduced stress, anxiety, and depression.
A 2019 article published in Scientific Reports claimed: "spending at least 120 minutes a week in nature is associated with good health and well-being." The study reported 'good' health and 'high' well-being were significantly higher for all who had nature contact. Psychological research like this is advancing our understanding of how time in nature can improve our mental health and sharpen our cognition.
We are fortunate to be surrounded by community members and visitors who care about protecting and preserving the land, water, scenic character of Leelanau County. Because of places like the National Parks, State Parks, Township and Village Parks, and the Leelanau Conservancy preserves, generations to come will have the opportunity to enjoy natural landscapes and partake in experiences that benefit their physical, mental, and spiritual well-being by moving the body, engaging the mind, and nurturing the spirit in nature.
If you are looking for places to explore nature in Leelanau County here are some resources:
Leo Creek Preserve
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Leelanau State Park
Township and Village Parks
Where is your favorite place to spend time in nature?
How do you feel after 20-30 minutes in nature?
Let us know below.