The healing benefits of getting outdoors

The healing benefits of getting outdoors
Spending time in nature can improve mood, emotional health, mental healh, attention and memory. 
Hazel Marie for Pexels

Minnesota has a lot of grassroots groups getting into the grass and into the roots.

MPR News host Angela Davis speaks with two Minnesotans who are helping others experience the joys of the outdoors and the health benefits. 

Spending time in nature can improve mood, emotional health, mental health, attention and memory.

Getting outside doesn’t have to look like a week-long portaging trip, either.

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A simple walk, sitting in your yard or even just looking outside can potentially have health benefits. 

three people smiling in a radio studio
MPR News host Angela Davis speaks with Asha Shoffner and Lynnea Atlas Ingebretson about the healing benefits of getting outdoors on Wednesday.
Danelle Cloutier | MPR News


  • Asha Shoffner is the environmental and outdoor education coordinator for Saint Paul Parks and Recreation. She’s the founder of Fiwygin Outdoors, an acronym for fit in where you get in (pronounced “fusion.”) The group is for people who are underrepresented in outdoor spaces. She’s also the founder of BIPOC Outdoors Twin Cities, a Facebook group of around 2,000 people who host outdoor experiences and workshops for BIPOC people in Minnesota. 

  • Lynnea Atlas Ingebretson is the diversity, equity and inclusion officer at Girl Scouts River Valleys. She’s on Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources Advisory Committee and Minnesota’s Parks and Trails Legacy Advisory Committee. She spends her free time teaching cross-country skiing and snowboarding, and leading hikes year-round with the Loppet Foundation, Melanin In Motion and Girl Scouts.

Subscribe to the MPR News with Angela Davis podcast on: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or RSS. 

Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.   

This activity is made possible in part by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment‘s Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.