People often associate the great outdoors with physical vitality. And to be fair, there's a lot of truth to the idea. Being outside often gives us a chance to really stretch our muscles and get some exercise. But most people would find a surprising health benefit if they lived away from the city for a year or more. It's not just good for physical health. Getting away from the city is great for mental health as well.


A little sun goes a long way

The first benefit won't even require much effort. People are often surprised by the lighting differences when they get out of the city. All of the city's obstructions tend to fade into the background after a while. But it's difficult to walk very far in most cities while keeping the sun shining down on you.


But away from the city you have a chance to really enjoy a warm sunny day. And with that, you can enjoy the sunlight's psychological benefits as well. Most people are aware of how happy they feel on a sunny day. But it's harder to fully immerse oneself in that sun when stuck with tall buildings all around. But the joy of a wide open sky and the sun on one's face is impossible to deny.


Hiking isn't just about physical health

There's quite a few things to enjoy while basking in the sunlight. But a lot of people find that hiking or even just a nice nature walk can be fun. It's a good idea to ensure you have a reliable vehicle though. A subaru outback 2019 or the like should be able to handle the rougher roads that lead to the best hiking spots.


And this is where people are often surprised. Hiking, or even just a light nature walk can provide significant benefits to one's mental health. But it works on one area more than any other. Walking in nature specifically helps decrease activity in a region of the brain associated with depression. Though the benefits are far from limited to depression alone. Spending time in nature is one of the best ways to improve your overall mental health.


Healthy meals and a healthy mind

Meals are one of the most important parts of people's day. But it's easy to forget that much of that food comes from rural settings. As one might imagine, the fresher the food the better the taste. But keeping closer to the source can also help improve the ways food helps our mental health. It turns out that fresh fruits and vegetables can offer some benefits to both physical and mental health. It's particularly good at fighting off depression.


But one of the more interesting discoveries is that fresh fruits and vegetables don't just fight mental health problems. These healthy foods also help promote positive mood and outlook. This is particularly important if you intent to head back to the city after a year.


Many people find that a newly gained positive outlook is a bit like working up physical muscles. One doesn't need to go to the gym every single day to maintain muscle mass. And likewise, a more positive outlook can often last long after one leaves a rural area.


Appreciating the natural world

Even if one only spends a year away from the city it can offer up some tremendous benefits. People often learn new ways to look at the world. Their tastes for healthier foods often sticks once they're back in the city. And a newly gained love of nature often introduces people to a wide variety of camping experiences. There are often ways to integrate nature back into one's urban lifestyle once the habits have been built up.

Author's Bio: 

Kevin is a freelance writer, who loves reading and writing about self-improvement. He love his family, managing his finances (ha), and studying new industries.