Healing Powers of Outdoor Living

Posted on March 21, 2018 By

Healing Powers of Outdoor LivingThe idea that a natural setting is good for the body isn’t a new one. To quote a WebMD article, “A landmark study by Roger S. Ulrich, published in the April 27, 1984, issue of Science magazine, found strong evidence that nature helps heal. Ulrich, a pioneer in the field of therapeutic environments at Texas A&M University, found that patients recovering from gallbladder surgery who looked out at a view of trees had significantly shorter hospital stays, fewer complaints, and took less pain medication, than those who looked out at a brick wall.”

Since then, other studies by scientists worldwide have bolstered the theory that scenes of nature and being outdoors has a positive effect on our health. However, not every American has the time or means to hit the wilderness whenever he or she wants. For most of us, getting our recommended intake of nature needs to occur much closer to home.

Get your Nature any Way you Can
One of the best things about the healing power of nature is that you don’t have to be in the middle of nowhere to reap the benefits. Creating a small indoor garden or keeping houseplants can make getting your daily dose of nature very convenient. In fact, Dr. Ulrich has stated that even looking at a picture of a natural setting can have positive effects on the body; if you have the means, however, actually being outdoors is probably the best way to feel the restorative effects of nature.

Remodeling with Nature in Mind
When you remodel with nature in mind, you are not only making a more attractive environment, but a healthier one. While adding picture windows and skylights can provide a good glimpse at the outdoors, building (or refurbishing) a deck or patio can make actually going outside a very appealing reality. Not only does a deck or patio give you an excellent place to relax and enjoy nature by yourself, it makes a great area to entertain, too!

Is Building a Deck a Good Investment?
Remodeling Magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value Report has, unsurprisingly, seen a drop in the resale value of home improvement projects over the past year. However, while many of the included projects are now recovering between 60{396a8c7f02c901b1db9a140786e771863b77f2a85a5c8de5cf5b52b138e2cb33} and 75{396a8c7f02c901b1db9a140786e771863b77f2a85a5c8de5cf5b52b138e2cb33} of their construction costs in added resale value, adding a wood deck averages a recovery of about 82{396a8c7f02c901b1db9a140786e771863b77f2a85a5c8de5cf5b52b138e2cb33} of construction costs nationally!

Need more assurance that building a deck won’t put you in the poor house? A project’s popularity often has a lot to say about its appeal to individual homeowners and how positively it will be viewed by prospective homebuyers; in many instances, a project’s popularity is directly linked to the amount of value it will add to a property. HomeAdvisor.com (a nationwide resource connecting homeowners to contractors in their area) has provided its numbers for just about every project you can imagine, and though some have seen a decrease in popularity over the past few years, requests for deck construction have increased from 27,155 in 2006 to 48,272 in 2008!

Other Ways to Bring Nature to You
While building a deck might be one of the most financially feasible ways to make getting outside a more common occurrence, it is far from the only one. Pools, balconies, porches, and gardens are all excellent choices for anyone who wants a bit of the outdoors in their daily routine. Getting outside can be an important facet of your healthy lifestyle; if any of these additions are in your near future, planning now can make the project go more smoothly and possibly have the finished product ready for you this summer when you’ll appreciate it most!