Fresh air and scenery can do wonders for your health. The sun shining, clean air and nothing but you and the feeling of dirt and soft grass beneath your feet is a natural remedy as old as time. In today’s world, we spend an enormous amount of our day sitting in front of bright screens, and not enough time enjoying the natural wonder of outdoor greenery.
If the sight of flourishing nature is not enough to encourage you to take a trip outdoors, these proven benefits should convince you otherwise.
- Improved Memory- Taking a stroll in nature has been known to improve memory capabilities. A specific study was done through University of Michigan to prove this. Participants took a memory test, and then walked around outside and scored 20% higher than those who took the test and then walked around the city. This is a great way to help improve studying conditions!
- Healing Abilities- Walking around outdoors is not only is refreshing, but provides activity that can help lower blood pressure, heart rate and muscle tension. Nature in this case can act like an organic drug and is a great alternative when considering pain medication for body aches.
- Improved Happiness- Research has been done by an assistant professor at the University of Washington that found spending time with greenery significantly improved feelings of happiness, positive and overall well-being. Allowing yourself to connect to nature can bring positive energy and good feelings to you. Taking a daily walk through greenery is a great way to boost serotonin levels.
- Improved Compassion- Spending time in nature can make us better people. A study was done where a group of participants were showed nature documentaries, and then played a fishing game where they had to decide the number of fish to harvest over different seasons. The participants that watched the nature video were more likely to ensure continued stabilization of the fish and cooperate more with other participants.
- Buffer Feelings of Loneliness- Loneliness is a feeling that everyone can have from time to time. It is shown that even those who do not engage in social interaction can benefit from spending time in nature. Instead of connecting with people, they are connecting with the natural energy from the environment. This can be beneficial especially to those who do not enjoy spending much time with people, as it can also improve mood.
- Weight loss- Walking in nature can promote weight loss! Whether it is walking flowery trails or hiking a mountain, getting some physical activity outdoors is a great way to lose some extra weight. Skip the gym and round up some friends to check out a local nature trail.
- More Vitamin D- Vitamin D is something we all need. This helps prevent cancer, osteoporosis and heart attacks. Time outside to suck up those sun rays on your nature walk is a good way to ensure your body is producing enough of this crucial vitamin.
- Strengthens immune system- Your immune system can grow stronger as a result as walking in nature. A study done in Japanese women showed that their white blood cells had increased after spending six hours in the woods over a couple days. White cells are crucial for fighting off viruses. This can help you fend off the common cold!
- Improved Concentration- Need to improve your concentration? You guessed it, take a walk! Spending some time so much as looking at greenery can significantly improve your concentration and memory. A study was done in Australia where children were asked to do a repetitive task. Those students who had a small break to look at greenery halfway through made far less mistakes than the ones who did not have a chance to view nature. If you are stumped on a school project or work assignment, take a break and let nature do it’s thing.
- Reduces Stress- As previously mentioned, spending time walking in nature can reduce heart rate. This is also associated with lowering stress as it is slowing everything down and allowing you to relax. This activity is frequently used to regain calmness and serenity because it is a low impact activity. Walking is easy enough that most anyone can do this to help alleviate their stress. A well-known symptom of stress is a high heart rate, and a long walk is just the thing needed to bring it down.
Life and all its challenges can bring unwanted stress into your life. There are plenty of outlets that you can choose to help relieve some of these feelings. Taking a walk on a nature trail is the perfect organic remedy to ward off negative emotions, and to improve overall physical health. Not only will you be improving your mental and physical well-being, but you will be able to connect your mind and body to nature.