22 Jul 6 reasons you need to go outside in nature. Now.
We all know that after a walk in the fresh air to clear our head we tend to feel a little bit better. But did you know there are science-backed reasons for this? Here are six reasons why you should put down whatever you are doing and get outside – now:
1. Your brain will work better.
In children, time spent walking in the park was shown to decrease ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) symptoms. In adults, even a quick glimpse of nature has been proven to improve focus, concentration and productivity.
2. It’s good for your heart.
A piece of research in Japan has shown that forest walking lowers your blood pressure, pulse, and heart rate variability. It has also been shown to decrease stress hormone levels.
3. You’ll practice mindfulness, naturally.
Putting down your devices and screens and going outside in green spaces can’t help but make you more mindful of your surroundings. The sounds of the forest, the singing of the birds and the crunching of leaves underfoot, is mindfulness meditation at its most simple.
4. You’ll get more out of your exercise.
Being outside is good for your health, even without specifically doing any exercise. But if you do choose to exercise in a natural natural environment, studies show that you’ll feel a greater sense of enjoyment and satisfaction.
5. You won’t get sick as often.
Exposure to nature improves the functioning of the immune system in otherwise healthy people, increasing the production of natural killer cells which are an important part of our defense against viruses and cancer.
And in both children and adults, access and exposure to green spaces has been shown to lower the risk of obesity Obesity is strongly connected with poor health and increased risk of illness.
6. You’ll be happier.
People who live close to green spaces experience less anxiety and depression. Walking in nature has been shown to improve mood and short-term memory in people with depression, as well as decrease repetitive, negative thoughts and the type of brain activity associated with mental illness.
Being outdoors, and away from artificial screen-based lights, helps synchronise your body clock to natural circadian rhythms. Scientists have specifically shown that our connection to those natural light/dark cycles helps to regulate our sleep, our moods, our stress levels, and our hormones.
You don’t need to hike for miles in the country for hours at a time to experience any of these incredible benefits. Just pop outside in your lunch break to lap up the greenery in your nearest green space to start reaping some of the rewards of connecting with nature.