You Need More Time Outside, and You Can Fit It in Your Schedule

I’m going to tell you something you already know: You need to spend more time in nature.

Please don’t make me define that word. You know what I mean. Outside. Next to something green. Or white, if it’s winter.

Chances are, you’re thinking one of the following things right about now:

A) Amen!

B) No I don’t (#naturedenier).

C) Yeah I know, but I don’t have time.

Group A: Thanks for the amen my brother or sister! Carry on.

Group B: I doubt there is anything I can say that will change your mind. But because my editor asked me to, let’s try it.

How about this study from Stanford that found walking outside near green stuff lowered stress. Or an academic paper that starts with this doozy: “Imagine a therapy that had no known side effects, was readily available and could improve your cognitive functioning at zero cost.” Yes, you guessed it. That therapy was “interacting with nature.”

Group C: You are the people I want to talk to most. That’s because you do have time. Trust me. All you need is a little change of perspective.

If you don’t think you have time, it’s probably because you think of something like a walk in the park as a chore. Or you see it as an expenditure of time and energy that you can’t afford.

But time in nature need not be overly strenuous, and it is not an expense. Think of it as investment — something you can’t afford not to do.

Take it from Jack “Walk Five Miles to Work” Dorsey. That’s right, the chief executive officer of Square and Twitter calls his morning walk “the best investment he can make.” Think he might be onto something?

Getting outside is easier if you get even a tiny bit creative. Ramit Sethi, author of “I Will Teach You to Be Rich,” taught me a trick last time we got together. We met at a coffee shop for 15 minutes and then did the rest of our meeting while walking for 45 minutes. Outside. Often near something green. In New York City. Where eight out of 10 people live within a 10-minute walk of a park. (For those of you city dwellers who thought “But nature is too far away” was a valid excuse.)

Honestly, what do you have to lose? Hold your next meeting outside. Walk to dinner instead of taking a Lyft. Spend 10 minutes beneath a tree instead of on another meditation app.

You don’t have to trail run, chop wood or do karate in the park. Just do whatever you want for 30 minutes a day. Outside. In nature.

Just pick one thing and do it. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did. And once you do, please tell me what happened at

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