Written By Alison Pearson / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
A backyard has endless potential to make your life better. However, you have to do your part. If you want to create a space that inspires health, here are a few features that might interest you.
A relaxing retreat
Today, stress is one of the most formidable enemies to our health. Long hours spent between four walls can wreak havoc on our mental health, too. Experts often recommend spending time outdoors to combat the negative effects of this modern lifestyle.
Nature has a restorative power on our psyche, and if you have a backyard, you don’t even have to go far to leverage this power. You can create a relaxing retreat right at your doorstep and unwind after particularly stressful days.
Needless to say, the fresh air will clear your mind, and the sunlight you get by hanging out in your outdoor retreat will boost your immune system and bone health. All you need to do is create the comfort of indoors in your yard: buy comfortable seating, install privacy screens, introduce more greenery and add some shade. It'll become your favorite spot.
A vegetable patch
Being outdoors is healthy in itself. However, there are so many more things you can do in your backyard besides just lounging and relaxing.
Even if you’ve never had a green thumb, you may want to give some thought to taking up gardening in your pursuit of healthy outdoor activities, since there are hardly any backyard features that can compete with the benefits of a vegetable garden. Digging in the dirt and growing your food is good both for your physical and mental health.
First of all, the work involved in maintaining a vegetable patch gives you a good workout, which is essential for warding off a slew of health conditions. Tending to your plants will also boost your mood and self-esteem: it’s a great shield against stress and even depression.
In addition, taking good care of your garden pays off in other ways, too: it yields fresh, healthy produce that will give you a vitamin boost! There’s virtually no downside to creating a vegetable patch in a corner of your yard.
A flower garden
A vegetable garden is amazing, but to some, it may not be the most beautiful sight ever. However, you don’t have to forget about gardening and all of its amazing health benefits even if you’d like to keep the landscaping of your yard more refined.
Instead of cucumber and spinach seeds, you can buy an array of flower seeds instead and create a beautiful flower garden. The health benefits of being around flowers make this project much more than just an aesthetic one. Being around beautiful things, like flowers, improves your mood and boosts your creativity.
Carefully tending to your flower garden helps you reconnect with the natural world and feel more balanced. You may not be able to eat the result, as in the case of vegetable gardens, but your beautiful flowers will adorn not only your outdoor but also your indoor space, creating a more positive environment.
A swimming pool
Outdoor space such as a backyard is also an invitation for fun physical activities that work your muscles and leave you pleasantly tired. Swimming is one of the healthiest sports: it's a great full-body workout that is low-impact at the same time, so it's a great option for anyone looking to improve their fitness levels and general well-being.
Needless to say, physical activity is a pillar of mental health, too, so swimming a few laps a couple of times a week is also fantastic stress and anxiety relief. You’ll sleep like a baby after your session! And while you can drive to the nearest pool if you want to, there is no doubt that having a pool right in your backyard would be life-changing.
Even if you have a moderately-sized on unusually-shaped space, experienced swimming pool builders will be able to come up with a design that fits you.
A place for exercise
If a swimming pool is outside of your budget or you live in a cooler climate where an outdoor pool is not a smart idea, other backyard features will be able to provide you with the physical exercise you need. Sports features in your backyard will also encourage your kids to spend more time outside instead of playing on their phones and computers.
For instance, if you've always loved skateboarding but had to give it up since there are no good skate parks near you, building your skate ramp could be a fantastic investment in your health and enjoyment. It's something that you can even do yourself if you have reasonable experience with DIY projects.
Even just a deck can encourage working out. Build a deck or platform where you can put down your yoga mat and exercise under the trees! Countless backyard features will help you get healthier habits and feel more fulfilled. So, take your pick!
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Alison Pearson is an interior design student. She is a writer and designer, but her ultimate passion is fitness and health. She is also a bibliophile and her favorite book is "The Sound and the Fury" by William Faulkner. Follow her on Twitter.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.