It’s fall: The weather is cool, the leaves are changing, and the outdoors are calling. You don’t have to be an all-terrain hiker or rugged outdoorsman to get outside this season. Just take your inside routine for a jaunt out of doors.
Here are five things to try outside this fall:
You usually do yoga in a studio…. Try yoga on the beach.
Next time you feel the call of the yoga mat, hit the beach. The Nature Conservancy works to protect New York’s beaches and coasts from development by establishing coastal buffers and effective wetland protection regulations at the local and state levels, ensuring there will be healthy beaches for plants, animals and yogis alike! "For me there is no more immediate way to become present — surrounded and immersed in the sounds, smells, and feel of nature," says Donna Klimkiewic of New York City's Open Air Yoga. The beach is a beautiful place to practice yoga, and it is also a great teacher," says Adrian Gordan, a yoga teacher from New York Surf School. "Working in sand challenges you to find the inner stability to balance in shifting conditions. Please remember that an unsteady surface also means less support, so it's especially important to use your muscles actively to protect your joints from strain."
You usually eat lunch at your desk… Try eating lunch in a park.
Eating outdoors can actually be better for your health: Instead of snacking in front of your computer screen, you can use the time before and after your meal to take a walk and enjoy the fresh air. "They don't call it the great indoors," chef Jimmy Bradley says. "Eat outside and get back to your roots." The Nature Conservancy in New York has protected nearly a million acres of land across the state, New York City is home to more than 6,000 acres of park space, so you're sure to find a quiet nook near your office to tuck into your sandwich.
You usually visit museums in the A/C… Try visiting a museum in the fresh air.
Says Yuka Yoneda, editor for Inhabitat.com: "There's something especially unexpected about seeing a piece of art against a wild, natural background, and it's a way to stretch the boundaries of your mind while also breathing in fresh air and enjoying the weather." Being outdoors can lift spirits and stoke creativity—so what better place to enjoy art. Plus, the beauty of nature reflected in art is just another reminder of our need to protect it.
You usually go on dates to restaurants… Try going on a date to a nature preserve.
Outdoor dates can be more romantic, Time Out New York editor Amy Pitt says. "There are so many parks and other outdoor spots in New York City that are perfect for a date, whether you're looking for a secluded, private place to walk, or a beautiful waterfront area with scenic views. Plus, they're free—something I always appreciate when planning a date!"
You usually read on your sofa… Try reading on a park bench.
Reading or studying outdoors in natural light is better for your eyes—and offers a healthy dose of vitamin D. Every summer, The Nature Conservancy helps urban high school students connect with nature by giving them internships on nature preserves around the country. And every Fall those students come back to the city more committed to conservation than ever!