HealthOutdoor LifeOutdoors

The Benefits of Walking in Nature

posted by Julie November 13, 2017 0 comments

Walking in nature benefits

Stressed out? Take a hike!

Recent studies have shown that a simple walk outside in nature can help reduce the effects of stress and lower the risk of depression. Researchers from Stanford and the University of Michigan have both published articles indicating that walking in a park or other natural environment, benefits people’s health in many ways.

Here are just a sampling of the benefits:

Physical Benefits

  • reduces sugar cravings
  • provides relief from arthritis
  • boosts the immune system
  • improves overall health
  • decreases the amount of cortisol, a stress hormone
  • reduces inflammation
  • boosts levels of vitamin D
  • boosts endorphins, the feel-good hormones that increase after exercise
  • strengthens your heart and improves cardiovascular health
  • lowers blood pressure risk
  • strengthens bones and muscles

Mental Benefits

  • tends to make people happier
  • reduces stress and anxiety by changing blood flow and activity in your brain
  • decreases the amount of negative thoughts
  • improves cognitive function
  • improves short-term memory
  • clearer thinking and increased productivity
  • improves depression
Walking in nature benefits

You may be like me and only see this kind of scenery while you’re on vacation. Even so, a short walk in any natural setting can be beneficial to your health.

 

By removing yourself from an urban area and walking in a forest or park, people can reconnect with nature and clear their minds. Walking is a low-impact, easy activity that can be done by almost everyone in all environments. If you live in an urban neighborhood, find a park, trail, or riverwalk to escape the noise of city life and take in all of the nature that surrounds you.

walking in nature benefits

Obviously, you can get many of the same benefits by doing physical activity indoors or at a gym. However, these studies show that the benefits of walking outdoors are much greater, compared to walking indoors. Being outside and fully engaged in the natural world is necessary for a larger benefit; fresh air, less noise, and connecting with nature not only benefits the body, but also the mind.

If you’re looking for more information, check out physiomed.ca/walking-in-nature/. Many thanks to Rebecca and Physiomed.ca for the infographic. See you on the trails!

Happy Travels!

Julie

 

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benefits of walking in nature

 sources: prescription-fitness.com, cdc.gov, lifehack.org, businessinsider.com, huffingtonpost.com, physiomed.ca/walking-in-nature/, well.blogs.nytimes.com

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