Simply spending time in nature shows benefits both for body terrain factors linked to cancer and for reducing cancer risk. It may also help with symptoms common among people with cancer.
Affordability and access
Where to access
Unless you’re deep in a heavily paved city environment, some access to nature is likely near your home. A yard, a beach, a city park, a meadow, a wooded area, or even a neighborhood with some trees and other plants—all can offer some exposure to nature. You don’t have to travel far to access the benefits of time in nature. You can even bring a bit of nature into your home through plants and animals.
Although you can spend money on specific gear and travel for time in nature, you can choose your level of investment. A beach walk or hike on a wooded trail may cost nothing more than the transportation to get there, and a walk in your neighborhood could be completely free of expense.
Managing your time in nature
More time in nature could bring more healing benefits.
Adding outdoor time to daily tasks:
- For regular outings for shopping or other errands, can I add a half-hour stop for a walk in a park or natural area nearby?
- If I live close to shopping, work, school, places of worship, or other destinations, can I walk instead of drive some trips? If public transit is available and causes me to walk or wait in a safe natural area, can I use it sometimes instead of driving?
- Are there any regular activities I can move outside as appropriate?
- Visiting friends or family
Finding new ways to be outdoors:
- Can I create or increase time in a garden? If I don’t have my own yard, can I volunteer to help at a local park, community garden, or playground?
- If a dog might help me spend more time outside and it fits into my life, might I want one? If not, could I consider volunteering to walk dogs at a local animal shelter?
- Can I join or create a group who will participate in regular outdoor activities together?
- Could I learn more about the trees, animals, flowers, insects, snakes, birds, and other natural neighbors in my area? This will encourage engagement with local nature and make injuries and anxiety outdoors less likely.