More and more, I notice the importance of time outside for me in addition to its importance for my family. Riding a bike has been an easy way to get some exercise and fresh air, and notice the nature around me. The cooler air at this time of year makes it much easier to enjoy the ride.

One day, I took my bike to a nearby bike trail and went for a ride while my parents went to the playground with my son. The paved bike path ran parallel to the highway and at first, I didn’t think the scenery was that beautiful. But, then I looked closer.

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I passed two rabbits grazing in the grass, and a wildflower meadow. I saw a father and his young daughter walking and exploring. I saw friends power walking and chatting. And I stopped to read a park service sign that explained amazing facts about the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, including that 5 million people live near the watershed and within a 15-minute walk to a creek or stream.

This past weekend, my friends and I made it to a girls’ weekend that we had planned six months ago. In addition to enjoying time together, we rode bikes, and found ourselves fascinated with the nature around us. A resident golden silk spider led the way to discovering many, many more, just by looking up. And butterflies were everywhere; we had fun trying to follow them.

If I allow myself to pause for a second outside, I notice that I have just as much curiosity about nature as my children do. And I appreciate the stress-relief that comes for me when I step outside and look at the sky or look closer at the trees. Time with my kids outside becomes time for me too, and while finding our routine in the hectic pace of school year, I’ll be sure to fit in time outside every day, for us all.

Rebecca P. Cohen is Founder and President of Rebecca Plants LLC, is a gardening and outdoor lifestyle company that inspires families to be outside and improve their well being. For her weekly online video series, “Get Out of the House” as well as Starla J. King’s guest blog series “Savoring Summer,” visit