If you’ve been looking for an excuse to get out of the house and commune with nature for a little while, here’s your chance. Saturday March 30, 2013 is Take a Walk in the Park Day. So slip on those walking shoes and get ready to take a stroll!

A Walk in the Park Origins

The true origins of Take a Walk in the Park Day are unknown. This pseudo holiday likely started sometime in the modern age or during the Industrial Revolution when less time was spent outdoors and leisure time was both rare and limited. Even today in our 24/7 technologically advanced world, how often to we get time out to just meander through nature?

Connection with nature is also important on a spiritual level. Being between the flora and fauna reacquaints us with Mother Earth.

The phrase itself, “a walk in the park” means something simple, easy and pleasurable. Although there seems to be no origins for the phrase either, it too likely evolved during a period where people lived and labored in cities. It could also have been a dig at the landed gentry around the time of the French Revolution. After all, those rich aristocrats were often seen strolling among their well-manicured gardens full of s-shaped hedges and topiaries. Who wouldn’t consider that the easy life?

Benefits of Walking in the Park

We all know that walking is good for our health. It is low impact, low cost and doesn’t require any special equipment. Best of all you don’t need any athletic skill or training. You’re already an expert!

Walking itself can help you lower blood pressure, boost your immune system and keep you toned and fit. It also helps ease depression and stress while clearing your mind. It is relaxing and enjoyable!

While many of us do our walking on the treadmill or at the mall, there are additional benefits from talking your stride outside. Studies have shown that spending time in nature enhances all the regular benefits provided by walking. British researchers found that spending as little as five minutes exercising in a green environment can significantly improve a person’s mood and self-esteem. So even a short jaunt in the park can do your mind and body a world of good!

The Spiritual Side

Connection with nature is also important on a spiritual level. Being between the flora and fauna reacquaints us with Mother Earth. We are a part of this planet and share in its energy. When cooped up inside and glued to TV’s, computers and electronics, we often forget about our relationship with the cosmos.

Walking in the park can reestablish that connection. Observe the world around you as you stroll among the grass and trees. Listen to the chirping birds and smile as you notice squirrels scurrying about. Appreciate the fragrance of blooming flowers. Feel the warm sun on your face or the touch of a breeze going by. Stop, take notice and be one with your environment. Let it remind you that you are one with earth.

Finally, walking and spending time in the park is fun! Remember being a small child and the excitement of going to the park? Try and recapture that feeling when you visit the park as an adult. Relive that sense of wonder from spending time in nature. Be curious. Investigate knotholes in trees or busy little ants working away. Be silly and frivolous. Bring along a jar of bubbles to blow or a kite to fly. So what if you’re and adult—who cares? Be carefree! After all, your spirit is ageless, so why shouldn’t you act that way once in a while?

Walk in the Park Day only comes once a year. Take the opportunity to celebrate the day, but don’t wait around for another year before you hit the park. Turn it into a happy habit and make practically every day a Walk in the Park Day!