There are so many aspects to the great outdoors that have positive health benefits that I’m sure you will want to get out more after reading this article.
What are the health benefits of walking?
Amongst other things walking outdoors in nature can help to:
- Ease depression.
- Reduce anxiety.
- Make you more creative and focused.
- Improve your memory.
- Strengthen your immunity.
There are numerous studies that have been carried out to find the healing powers of nature. For our brains it is great to see blue and green colours together. Just think of the image of a tree against a blue sky. Does it make you feel more relaxed just imagining it?
It is important that you are in and around greenery walking in a town or city or on a treadmill just does’t have the same impact on your health. Walking in amongst trees is particularly good. Research has found that walking in the woods can:
– Help to increase creativity by up to 50%.
– Trees and plants emit oils called phytoncides that actively help to reduce anxiety.
– Negative ions which are a natural antidepressant are given off in woodlands and around water. So if there aren’t any woods near you find the nearest lake or river and breath in the healing properties and feel your tension melt away.
Being outdoors can also help to ease depression as it activates the right areas of the brain to lower feelings of stress and help you to think more positively. Just listen to the birds in the trees tweeting away.
As you feel calmer you will notice an improvement in your focus as you will feel calmer and nature gives your brain a break from the over stimulation we get in other aspects of our lives. We live in such fast paced, stressful lives these days just spending some time reconnecting and getting away from technology can really help. Movement activates the same areas of the brain that control concentration and creativity (we touched on this in our recent blog about the SitFit Plus)
It can strengthen your immunity Researchers at Tokyo’s Nippon Medical School found that women who spent six hours in the woods over the course of two days had an increase in white blood cells that fight virus’s and tumours and the improvement lasted at least seven days afterwards. How amazing that walking helps you to create your own medicine cabinet without the need to reach for medication.
Although we have been talking about the health benefits of walking if you have difficulty getting out and about there is a lot to be gained in just finding somewhere to sit as watching the plants, birds, bees and wildlife doing there thing will still help to reduce stress, anxiety and depression.
So if this has got you fired up and wanting to get out walking what next? Maybe you would like to get out with friends or family, or see this as the prime time to join a group and meet new people in your area. Your local council or local newspaper and magazines will have details of local groups. The Wildlife trust also have a number of health and well-being projects in a number of areas.
Enjoy your time in nature x