Even when you can't get outside, you can still score the zen benefits of being in nature.

By Macaela Mackenzie
Updated: February 16, 2018

Raise your hand if making it through dreary February feels like a bigger challenge than Olympic skier Devin Logan's training plan. Yeah, same here. Luckily, there's some good news: You can reap the health benefits of taking a gorgeous summer hike right from your desk.

Sticking out a winter that feels like it's been going on for-ev-er is brutal, both mentally and physically. Not only are you missing those long trail runs, but staying indoors all season means you're likely missing out on a ton of benefits associated with being outside in nature, such as reduced stress, lower blood pressure, and boosted mood and self-esteem.

Research also shows that just looking at images of nature is enough to experience a mental health boost. A 2015 study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that just five minutes spent ogling natural images helped support the body's ability to recover from stress. It's like having spring right in your pocket (or in this case on your screen).

Ready to take a virtual hike? Thanks to virtual reality, you can take a walk or canoe ride through the Congaree National Park in South Carolina with Orbitz's 360 experience. As you explore, you can ever hear the sounds of the babbling river and crunch of leaves under your feet. Isn't technology cool?

Or you can explore your own Instagram feed. Spend five minutes scrolling through gorgeous #natureporn Instagrams-and remember a sunnier season is just around the corner.

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