Nature really is the best medicine. If you spend some quality time in nature each day, you will soon find yourself feeling better than you ever have before.
Why being in nature is great for your well being
Whether it’s a walk in a natural beauty spot, a trip to the beach on your mobility scooter – 4 wheel scooters are easier to use than 3 wheel scooters for this purpose – or playing with your kids in the park, just being outside will do so much good to your body and mind.
Not convinced? Check out these very real ways that nature can make you healthier:
Shrink your stress
Green spaces have been shown to reduce cortisol levels in humans, which means, if you’re feeling stressed, there is nothing better for you to do than head out and start walking in the park or wherever you feel most comfortable.
Cortisol is a stress hormone that can be found in your blood when your levels are too high, you will start to feel stressed and panicky. It’s not a nice feeling, but a simple trip out into a place where there is grass and trees could be all you need to bring those levels back down and start feeling good again.
Reduce the symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s
Although there are not currently any cursed for these two very common brain illnesses, studies have shown that gardening can help to alleviate the symptoms, such as anger, agitation, and aggression in sufferers. That is why horticultural therapy is now being more widely offered to people with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
If gardening isn’t your thing, there have also been some studies to suggest just spending some time in nature each day can help too.
Maintain a healthy heart
We all know that in order to maintain a good level of heart health we need to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly, but did you know spending time in nature could help to keep your heart healthy too?
Stress is a prime cause of heart problems, and as we mentioned above, spending time in nature can lower stress levels. Patients recovering from heart surgery tend to have better outcomes when they spend time outdoors gardening than when they do not, and it doesn’t even have to be strenuous gardening – any time spent pottering in the garden will help.
Several studies have found that people are able to recover more effectively from strokes if they spend time walking each day, and if they live near green space. This is not so surprising because exercise is one of the most important things people can do to recover from a stroke, and doing it outdoors is likely to be less stressful and more enjoyable due to the power and beauty of nature to boost wellbeing.
Alleviate anxiety and depression symptoms
Living close to natural green spaces has been proven to help reduce feelings of depression and anxiety in people of all ages. It has also been shown that taking regular walks can help people with depression to boost their mood. It obviously isn’t the whole answer, but if you are struggling with your mental health, and you CAN get out and about for a bit, doing so will do you the world of good, especially if you can get to a wooded area because, trees, in particular, have been shown to have a positive effect on mental health.
Keeping your brain as sharp as possible for as long as possible and as healthy as possible for as long as possible is probably one of your main health aims, so it’s good to know that time spent in nature can boost your cognitive function.
A study conducted by the University of Michigan found that walking in nature, or even just looking at images of nature, could help improve your focus and attention even in distracting circumstances., Similar studies have been conducted elsewhere confirming the brain-boosting power of nature.
Plants, flowers, and other forms of vegetation have been shown to improve the quality of the air we breathe, so it is perhaps, not surprising that time spent in nature can help to alleviate the symptoms of asthma and other respiratory conditions, Even just having plants around the house can have a positive effect, especially if you live in a city or a dusty climate where the air quality is likely to be less than optimal.
There is some evidence to suggest that regularly spending time in nature could help us to age well. The Japanese people tend to live longer healthier lives than people in other countries, and it is often suggested that this could be because they spend more time in nature than the people of other countries, on average. Also, the fact that nature has so many health benefits would seem to support this, If it can help to keep your brain, heart, and body healthy, then it will obviously help with longevity, right?
We’re all about boosting the immune system right now, so it’s good to know all the time we’ve been spending in our gardens and walking in pretty places could have been boosting our immune systems all along.
Nature helps us to feel safe, calm, and relaxed, and when we feel like that, our body enters into a process of rest snd recovery that can generate new cells and help to build better immunity. This is one of the reasons why forest bathing, which originated in Japan, and which asks you to spend time resting in the forest, is becoming so much more popular worldwide.
There is some research to suggest that nature could help to alleviate the symptoms of ADHD in some children, specifically if they engage in outdoor activities on a regular basis. Nature is calming and it provides kids with many healthy ways to blow off steam, so it is not surprising that children with ADHD would feel calmer after climbing trees, walking along the beach, or running around a local park for a little while.
Getting a good night’s sleep is getting harder in this always-on world that we all live in, which is why it is all the more important that we make an effort to switch off from time to time. Nature helps us to switch off.
From gardening to walking in the park or running on the beach, any time spent doing something physical in the fresh air has been shown to increase your chances of getting a good night’s sleep, and since, when we sleep our body repairs itself, that’s pretty important.
Promotes a sense of wellbeing
On a basic level, spending time in nature can boost your wellbeing. If you spend at least one hour each day in a nature spot, your whole body will relax and feel much better than it would if you were cooped up indoors. You’ll get plenty of fresh air, some exercise – even if it is just a slow walk – and all of the health benefits we’ve discussed above, and it will make such a difference to your quality of life.
As you can see, nature can improve your health and wellbeing in more ways than you could have ever imagined, so if you do only one thing for your health today, get outside! You’ll feel so much better and unlike many of the miracle cures out there, it won’t cost you a single cent, while simultaneously being more effective than just about anything else you can think of!