Wellness Alert: Prescribing Nature

February 24, 2020

One of our favorite trends this year is all about nature and the power it has to impact one’s health and well-being. As more studies reveal the healing power of nature, the medical community is finally starting to pay attention. In the near future, your doctor may be prescribing 30 minutes in nature to help what ails you.

Similar to Dr. Wallace J. Nichols’ book, Blue Mind—which correlates health and happiness to being on or near a body of water—trends like Forest Bathing continue to gain traction in the spa space. Our Forest Bathing & Picnic for Two, a new private experience from our It Takes Two programming, is a guided nature outing that leads guests through a peaceful, grounding time of connection and meditation. And our weekly Nature Bathing Hike with Lakeside Yoga, one of 20+ activities available to all guests and included with a stay at our resort, is a sensory outing where guests are prompted to be present, mindful and look, listen, and feel the enveloping effects of nature. Nature, green space, and water are all natural remedies that decrease stress and increase “happy” hormones. This immersive activity concludes with a light lakeside yoga and stretch session.

But let’s go back to the water. Traveling to the ocean or a lake is typically thought of as a summer activity, but we’d like to shed some light on how and why water can be part of your wellness experience any time of year. You see, you don’t actually have to be in the water to reap the rewards. Here’s how it works.

Locate a Moving Body of Water

Couple watching sunset on dock

This can actually be any moving water—a waterfall, ocean waves lapping on the sand, the soft current of a river flowing by, ripples touching the shores of a lake. Did you know Lake Austin is actually a part of the Colorado River? It begins below Mansfield Dam and is principally fed by the outflow of Lake Travis. The Texas Colorado River spans 862 miles and runs in a southeasterly direction from Lubbock, winding through Austin, and leading to Matagorda Bay on the Gulf of Mexico. The river is a major source of water for Texas cities and rural farms, and provides electrical power for state residents. Although Texas is known around the world for oil and gas production, water is Texas’ most precious commodity. The Texas Water Development Board is a state agency that oversees and educates the public about the role water plays in the everyday life of Texans. The agency is guided by these words: “Water is essential for Texas communities to grow and thrive. It quenches our thirst, nourishes our agriculture, and drives our thriving economy. Water is — and always will be — Texas’ most important resource.”

Stand, Lie, or Sit Next to that Body of Water

A guest glides across the water of Lake Austin in a single scrull rowing boat.

This could be in a hammock, in the grass, on a boat, or simply enjoying a meal in a dining room that overlooks the water. At our lakefront resort, the dining room and workout facilities are situated right on the water, providing incredible, uninterrupted views. We offer practically every variety of water activity, including wakesurfing, paddleboard yoga, pedalboarding, kayaking, sculling (pictured above), and more. Our entire resort is the ideal setting to develop a deeper understanding of the transformational properties of water.

How the Science Works

Woman in hammock swing over lake austin

Studies show that negative ions are produced by moving water. Those ions are absorbed by your body and have been known to help alleviate depression and anxiety, providing positive effects on your health and happiness.

Research has also shown that being near, in, on, or under water can provide a long list of benefits for our mind and body, including lowering stress and anxiety, increasing an overall sense of well-being and happiness, a lower heart and breathing rate, and safer, more effective workouts. Aquatic therapists are increasingly looking to the water to help treat and manage PTSD, addiction, anxiety disorders, autism, and more. Being near water also boosts creativity, enhances the quality of conversations, and provides a backdrop to important parts of living — like play, romance and, grieving.

If you want to “dive deeper” into the healing effects of water, we suggest Nichols’ book, Blue Mind, which explores this topic in more detail and makes booking your next water-centric vacation a must-do on your 2020 travel bucket list. Browse our offers and discover the perfect Lake Austin experience for you.