Cozy sweaters, cooler temperatures and vibrant colours, autumn is the perfect time of year to get out and about, whether it is for a hike on the trails or a latte at the local coffee shop.

September 22 marks the first official day of fall, and as the hot days of summer simmer down to milder fall days and evenings, more and more of us are venturing out of our air conditioned homes in search of fresh air and nature. And in doing so, there are many benefits to be had.

  1. Socializing. Cooler temperatures make getting outside much more pleasant this time of year and as such, you will run into more people on a morning walk, a hike on the trails, or out for an evening stroll. While some may offer a quick “Hi” others will be looking for conversation. Either way, simply interacting with more people and having the opportunity to make new acquaintances or catch up with neighbours and friends will leave you feeling rejuvenated.
  2. The Colours. Oranges, reds, yellows and greens come together as a work of art for the eyes and energy for the soul. It seems that everywhere you go in the fall you see lively colours, beautiful displays of mums, hay bales, pumpkins and other décor. Get outside to take in the colours, the art, and the creativity.
  3. Feel Younger (or Richer). A 2015 study in the journal Nature found that simply walking down a tree lined street had the equivalent effect of feeling seven years younger or making an extra $10,000 a year.
  4. Clear Your Mind. Getting outside forces us to leave distractions such as the television, computer, and tablet behind (and hopefully the cell phone, unless you leave it in a pocket for emergencies only). Taking a break from technology while enjoying the great outdoors gives you a chance to decompress, breathe, and clear your mind. And will surely leave you feeling that much more motivated and productive when you return to your to-do list.
  5. Mood Boost. It is amazing how quickly your mind can clear and your mood can elevate simply by getting some fresh air. So it makes sense that anxiety and depression can both be eased by time spent outside in nature, especially when combined with exercise.
  6. Fewer Colds. Want to avoid getting sick? Spend time in nature. Research has found that spending time surrounded by nature, particularly forests, can play a role in strengthening the immune system. So tie up those running shoes and get out for a hike as the combination of exercise, fresh air, vitamin D and improved mental well-being will all work together to help you fight off common colds, cases of flu and other infections.

Looking for like-minded people to get outside with you? Make new friends and expand your social circles with Amintro, the social app designed exclusively for those 50 plus. You will be able to find others in your community with similar interests, boost your social calendar, and try new experiences in the company of others. Pre-register here!

By Christine Tompa