How do you connect with nature? Does it matter? Actually it does. According to Richard Ryan, professor of psychology at the University of Rochester, paying attention to the natural world not only makes you feel better, it makes you behave better.
As an avid cyclist and sustainability consultant, it's interesting to note that while the salubrious effects of nature are well documented, from increasing happiness and physical health to lowering stress, this study shows that the benefits extend to a person's values and actions. Exposure to natural as opposed to man-made environments leads people to value community and close relationships. Hence the reason, we at Taiga Company,use cycling as a means to promote sustainability - we call it green cycling. When people ride bikes, good things happen. People are outside, appreciating nature, enjoying physical activity, and also promoting eco awareness.
For those living a sustainable lifestyle, the message is meaningful. Lead author Netta Weinstein says the take home message from the research is clear: "We are influenced by our environment in ways that we are not aware of," she says. Because of the hidden benefits of connecting with nature, people should take advantage of opportunities to get away from built environments and, when inside, they should surround themselves with plants, natural objects, and images of the natural world. "The more you appreciate nature, the more you can benefit," she says.
Getting started is often the hardest part. With Spring approaching, plan to get outside, in action, and on your bike! Following are resources to help you do just that!
- Action Outdoor Bike Magazine
- Green Cycling whitepaper
- Best Ever Bike Commuting Guide
- Promoting Safety, Fun, Fitness, and the Environment
- Green Cycling Resources
Enjoy the ride!