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Interacting with the natural world has many health benefits
Spending time in nature may help you feel more relaxed, happier, and healthier. This is because interacting with the environment can improve your mood.
That’s thanks to the improved levels of hormones like serotonin and dopamine. These hormones are part of why we feel happy and contented.
Compared to men, women have higher levels of seratonin which makes them feel happier. Men have higher levels of testosterone, a hormone that helps people deal with stress.
Also, spending time outside reduces the need for medication. You can think about it – if someone spends lots of time inside due to pain then they will require higher doses of antidepressants or other medications to get same-level relief.
This also applies to alcohol. People who don’t spend time outside tend to drink less booze but longer periods of time without it lead to better overall health.
A recent study conducted by researchers at Northwestern University in Illinois examined the effects of contact with nature during childhood on heart health in young adults.
The scientists analyzed data from 1,408 children who participated in the Children’s Lifestyle Research Project, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health to research childhood obesity.
As part of that project, between 2006 and 2008, each child wore a pedometer (a small device that counts steps) for one week so they could record how many daily flights of stairs they climbed.
At the end of the project, the kids had access to a smartphone app that helped them track their walking habits.
But before they went home, they also walked outside for 30 minutes either near a tree or other forms of nature such as a pond or meadow.
That exposure to nature occurred regardless of whether the children lived next to it or not. The only thing that mattered was the total amount of time they spent out there.
To estimate this quantity, lab technicians measured the size of each child’s backyard. Then, since every minute in a child’s day is worth 16 minutes, we know that these kids spent an average of 16 minutes outdoors per hour.
Finally, the investigators calculated the number of hours a kid slept and divided that by the number of walk times per week to obtain a score representing total activity levels.
An average adult walks about
Improve mental health
Emerging research suggests that spending time in nature can help reduce stress, improve cognitive function, and bolster overall happiness by improving psychologic (mind) health. This may include less anxiety and depression, better concentration, and stronger relationships with others.
These benefits may be especially strong for individuals who are already suffering from psychological distress. For example, one study found that walking in a garden improved mental health symptoms more than a book or social media activity.
Time in nature may also play a role in reducing pain levels. A small study conducted by medical researchers asked participants to watch a nature video versus a news video. The results showed that viewing pictures of plants reduced their chronic pain by almost 20 percent.
Helps children perform better academically
Research shows that spending time in nature is important for children’s health and well-being. This research primarily focuses on pediatric patients, but the results are just as significant for adults and the healthcare community.
When doctors ask how much time they should give their kids for play, the answer depends on your location and what season it is. The typical amount of time is about an hour a day, which isn’t very much.
Time in natural environments can have benefits that extend beyond education and health. It can also help make a person more social and empathetic people.
These qualities can be helpful in one’s personal life, at work, and in relationships. A regular dose of unplugged time in the office or while on lunch break is best to maintain mental wellness.
A change in environment is like taking a drug trip. Whether you are going for a week end or trying to get some free time during the week, having access to parks and gardens is vital to any environmental intervention.
More and more studies show that time in nature is not just good for your mental health, but it also helps you be a creative person. From an evolutionary point of view, we are meant to spend time outside, around plants and animals and other forms of natural beauty.
However, our lives have become very technology oriented. You can still see this when people work online at home or use their computers, smartphones, and other devices for hours every day.
Contact with nature is what reminds us there are things in life that cannot be measured in monetary terms. It is simply something medical and technological.
When we look out of windows, we no longer need to buy food. We can eat whatever is growing inside or outdoors. When we walk down the roads, we do not need cars to get places. We can catch buses, bikes, or take walks.
The next time you go hiking, swimming, running, or doing some other form of exercise, don’t forget to bring your laptop (or tablet) along for the ride. The best exercises are those that are done regularly.
If you have access to a gym, lift weights, put stress on yourself by walking or sprinting up the stairs. If you do not, try making a goal to do one weight lifting session plus one cardio session each week.
It will help keep you healthy. Also, make a point of watching TV shows and reading news
Higher levels of nature exposure have been linked to lower risk of chronic illnesses, less anxiety and depression, better sleep, improved weight management, and enhanced quality of life for many people.
Recent research has also shown that contact with outdoor natural environments is critical to human health and recovery.
A growing body of evidence suggests that viewing landscapes or spending time in parks alone may be insufficient to reap benefits including reduced blood pressure, mental rest, and stress relief.
These effects are more likely when we engage in active behavior within a park environment, such as walking or playing.”
However, even just sitting in front of a screen looking at maps online can help reduce stress, improve attention regulation, and enhance other aspects of wellness.
More and more studies show that contact with nature is really important for health. Not only does this strengthen our mental health, but it also helps us maintain better physical health.
Looking at scenes of natural beauty can help boost people’s feelings of control by reminding them that even though things are out of their control, they still have importance to others.
This sense of achievement or sense of purpose can help motivate people who feel like they don’t have control over certain aspects of their life.
By adding some nature into your day, you can increase your feeling of happiness, confidence, and purpose. These emotions will lift you up and make you feel good about yourself.
Helps people maintain a healthy weight
Although it may seem strange, talking with nature can help you lose weight. Studies show that walking in natural settings is more effective than taking a walk at home or in urban areas. This is because breaking up the routines of your everyday life allows your body to restore itself by recharging its energy supply.
When we are connected to our environments, they become more familiar. This helps ease any anxiety about what lies ahead and makes us feel more secure.
Prior research has shown that people who live in clean, modern spaces tend to be more stressed out, anxious, and depressed than those living with harder surfaces or no garden.
Becoming aware of your surroundings takes an amount of mental effort, which will reduce stress. Reminding yourself of different ways things grow-either through gardening or just spending time in a park-can make changes to your mood.
A few minutes ago, if I had been feeling bad or down, going for a hike or another form of outdoor activity would have helped me feel better. Now that I’ve gotten some exercise, thinking about how plants survive forces me to consider my health from a new perspective.
That same workout which was once motivating now serves as a reminder to care for myself, which is important for overall well-being.
Encourages physical activity
It is well known that our environment has a huge impact on us. Both environmental experts and psychologists agree that we need to do exercise, but in order to enjoy it, we must know its health benefits.
One of the most popular exercises is walking. Not only is it easy, you can also walk when time is limited.
Walking helps keep your heart healthy by increasing circulation. It improves your blood pressure by being part of a healthy lifestyle. By having more people take longer walks, there is less risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) such as atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries, and loss of consciousness and stroke.
We all have different limits for how much exercise is enough. Everyone needs to be encouraged to get out and move around. A recommendation from your doctor may help as well.
He or she may recommend that you add or change an existing exercise routine to make you feel and perform it better. You may be able to increase or decrease the amount of sleep you get without hurting yourself.
It is very important to start moving and work up to a harder exercise as early as possible. This will prevent injury and help you resolve any pain you are feeling.