Heading out for an early-morning walk. Fishing by the pond in the afternoon shade. Listening to the sounds of birds and wildlife.

Because nature is all around us, we often take it for granted – but embracing the outdoors may contribute to our well-being in ways that researchers are just beginning to explore. According to environmentalist author Richard Louv, recent evidence points in one direction: “Nature is not only nice to have, but it’s a have-to-have for physical health and cognitive function.”

Whether you’re going out for a bike ride or playing a round of golf with friends, nature may boost the benefits of physical activity – increasing blood flow to the brain and making exercise feel less strenuous and more enjoyable. If you’re mulling over a dilemma or seeking creative inspiration, the solution may be right outside your door: Studies show that a short walk outside can improve focus, memory and critical thinking.

And as we grow more reliant on technology for news, entertainment and communication, “unplugging” with a few minutes offline and outdoors can bring its own benefits. According to a study at the University of Minnesota, spending time in “green spaces” (such as parks and forests) and “blue spaces” (such as lakes and rivers) can promote “feelings of renewal, restoration, and spiritual connectedness.”

According to The Mayflower’s Wellness Coordinator Sarah Burke, environmental wellness plays an integral role in a healthy lifestyle: “Nature is so important to us in body, mind and spirit – engaging with our environment is just as key to well-being as much as eating a balanced diet or staying active.”

At The Mayflower, we take pride in the beauty of our picturesque campus. Located just minutes from downtown Winter Park, our lush grounds, ponds and water features, and shady walking trails offer an oasis of peace, quiet and calm – a true “breath of fresh air.”

We’re also creating more opportunities to take advantage of Florida’s natural beauty, including refreshing outdoor fitness sessions and excursions to scenic destinations. From finding inner calm through tai chi classes by the pond … to paddling kayaks at the pristine springs of Wekiva Island, Mayflower residents can stay active in some of our area’s loveliest landscapes.

With a holistic approach to whole-person wellness, The Mayflower empowers residents to live better through an array of stimulating programs and activities … a vibrant, welcoming community … and a Life Plan for the years ahead.

Ready to learn more about life at The Mayflower? To request more information or schedule your personal tour, send us a message or give us a call at 407.672.1620. We look forward to hearing from you!