How to reap health benefits of spending time in nature

Craving for nature is a booming wellness trend. Most of the people who would read this article might be living in busy, crowded cities. Though many of them feel that something is not right with the kind of atmosphere that they live in and with the fact that they always feel stressed out – they would still never leave the cities. They think that the future is in the cities and that if they should move out, they would have to make a few steps backward in life. Well, in most cases this is flat-out untrue.

In fact, there are many benefits of spending time in nature, and below you will find out some of them. There is something very nourishing and relaxing when you’re seeing trees and rivers flowing around you. This is not easy to put into words – so the best way to learn what we’re talking about is by actually going in nature.

It is not about permanent relocation

son spending time with father

If you can manage to dwell permanently amid nature, nothing like that. For most of us, this is really unthinkable. We’re not that hardcore in giving advice to people – we can still recognize the fact that people have families and obligations in the city, and that it would be bad for them to consider this option. Even a single day a week – a single day a month – with nature will improve your physical and psychological health dramatically.

Flocking to the wildest and remotest nature destination to be the travel trend of tomorrow

Time and again man has gone back to nature for healing. The current situation is no different. Our innate connection with nature remains in hindsight, and we look forward to it when our endurance reaches a breaking point. The global travel market is likely to explode with enhanced searching of nature destinations as researchers highlight the great impact of nature’s green and blue spaces on our mental and physical wellbeing. With mental wellness hitting the bottom and global healthcare burden going beyond control, the time is ripe we seek help from nature to create a protective cover.

Why should you think of spending time in nature?

couple in the lap of nature

Talks on benefits of spending time in nature are abound given the catastrophic situations the world is going through. With growing healthcare challenges and disastrous climatic changes, people are putting serious thoughts on embracing nature as a part of their life. While efforts are on to restore nature in our planet to the best possible limits, the time is high to acknowledge the health benefits that nature bestows on us.

Going outdoors gives us a respite from boredom and offers a taste of freedom from the shackles of life. Nature has a strange calming and soothing power. It helps us in relaxing and reduces our stress levels. Being out of doors, near the nature has many benefits. It helps in improving our health.

From time immemorial, people who have a weak health have been advised to visit beautiful tourist spots blessed by natural abundance to recover from chronic ailments. It is important for every individual to spend some time at least out of doors and near the nature.

Given the severe toll on mental and physical wellness by the ravaging global health crisis especially in urban settlements, spending time in nature would be the imperative wellness practice.

  • Spending at least 120 minutes a week in nature benefits health and well-being

This significant finding of a 2019 study got published in ‘Nature’ where participants reported consistent improvement in health and overall well-being after being in contact with outdoor nature settings for at least 120 minutes a week. Even older adults with chronic health issues benefitted from this exposure to nature.

  • Reduced risk of depression and heart diseases

depressed young man

A 2016 study found just 30 minutes in nature every week could cut down the risk of depression and heart diseases. Even walking down a tree-lined street in an urban community could lower the stress levels significantly.

  • Promotes mental wellness of students

Stress and depression among students have been showing a steep rise forcing many of them to reach out to mental health specialists. A recent review found, even spending a bare minimum of 10 minutes in nature daily could be beneficial for students’ mental wellness. Ample evidence shows daily exposure to nature even if it is brief helps in reducing stress and anxieties.

  • Your cortisol level drops

roaming in nature is beneficial

Another study found, roaming in nature for 20-30 minutes thrice a week was most effective in reducing cortisol secretion, the common stress hormone.

  • Inspires your creativity

A 2012 study with a group of backpackers found 50% increase in creativity after spending few days on hiking. Constant distractors and modern life drain our resources. When amid nature, those threats and distractions drop allowing our minds to track its creative niche.

  • Boosts your memory and cognitive skills

sharpness of memory

Sounds and sights of nature are good for your brains. Research from the University of Michigan found that when participants took a walk amid nature, their memory and attention span rose by 20%. No such improvement was detected when they walked down the busy city street.

  • Builds your immunity

A chain of studies found people spending time in forests, parks, and green surroundings experienced better immune function. Phytoncides, the chemical released by the foliage does the trick.

  • Spending time in nature makes you happier

Happy senior couple

A 2013 study with more than 10,000 Canadians who spent 30 minutes daily in nature for 30 days nonstop found astounding benefits. The participants reported enhanced happiness, more vitality, less sleeping problems, reduced stress and negative feelings and improved workplace productivity.

  • Fosters spiritual wellness

Amid all chaos and turbulence, people are on the lookout for spiritual connect. Calm and serene natural surroundings are ideal to help in your spiritual connections. Since ages, spiritualists, monks, hermits, and sages looked for natural surroundings for their spiritual wellness.

This clearly explains why Forest Bathing has been acclaimed worldwide as an effective wellness practice. More doctors are prescribing nature to treat anxiety and stress-related disorders.

10 Easy-to-follow tips to reap the health benefits of spending time in nature

Many people have started experimenting with their urban lifestyle. A major percentage of such people now prefer to live frugally out of doors. They travel from one place to another and enjoy hiking for days. Food and shelter are the only luxuries they want. Some of them keep online journals and some share their experience through blogs. They love to live a life of freedom and happiness away from their previous claustrophobic urban life.

While town and countryside dwellers have unlimited access to nature, the situation is largely different with city dwellers.

1.  Enjoying physical activities in nature

couple-enjoying physical activities in nature

You will find it hard to sit in one place when you’re in nature. The entire ambience and atmosphere will force you to get up and move around. As you know, physical movement and exercise are some of the greatest predictors and promoters of overall health – so this is a great health benefit for you. Moreover, in most cases, the road that you will take won’t be straight. You will have to climb up and down as you go, and this will help you synchronize your body with your mind, which is an excellent mental and physical workout in and of itself.

2.  Get your dose of Vitamin D

If you can find a clean place, you can easily decide to relax under the warm sun. The vitamin D that you will get from this will also promote your health. Make sure that you don’t overdo it though, as being under the sun for a long time can be damaging to your skin. If such a things happens to you, then Skincare products, such as LoveMelanotan, might provide you with an added layer of protection.

3.  Work outdoors sometimes if the weather permits

young woman Working outdoors

Instead of remaining cooped in the cubicle for hours, plan working outdoors. It could be the outdoor office space or some nearby parks. Make it a weekly event with your team. Not only you will feel happier, your performance will soar as well.

4.  Choose a park for your daily nature workout

Make the best use of the park if you have one in your locality. You can spend some time after your working hours in a calm and quite environment. Even better if you can do some workouts instead of hitting the gym floor. Do your meditation, mindfulness and breathing exercises out in nature instead of indoors.

5.  Plan a nature getaway in weekends

Pleasant young family relaxing on a motorboat

If you are unable to find the natural ambience near your place, plan a weekend getaway in nearby natural spots. Spend hours outdoors in that spot. If possible, make a monthly arrangement with a wellness resort. In this way, you can enjoy a relaxing weekend along with getting the needed exposure to nature.

6.  Go for frequent hiking

Hiking trails are great to take you to closer to nature. Countries are promoting hiking trails which see round-the-year bookings. Hiking with family and friends helps in reconnecting with each other while immersed in nature.

7.  Look for an excuse to go outdoors

friends-on-a-short-break

Make up a habit of visiting your backyard garden or step out in the sun even for trivial activities. Enjoy your early morning tea or check your mails outdoors for a short break especially if you are on the work from home mode. Want to call a friend? Go outdoors and do the talking. Want to read a book? Do it outdoors.

8.  Ride your bike to work 

Riding your bike to work is a great way to get the nature exposure at the start of the day. Fresh air and sunlight keep your mood upbeat helping you a sail smooth throughout the day.

9.  Plan for outdoor hangouts

group on a outdoor trip

Select parks or natural spots for socialization and hangouts. Instead of putting money on bars and clubs, spend on short outdoor hikes or gatherings. With no noise and crowds, you can create real memorable moments.

10.  Get the help of an App

As the nature economy booms, Apps are offering different means to help you get the desired exposure to nature. These are also helping you to track the quantity and quality of your Nature Exposure with exclusive features containing essential components of nature. You will also get the Nature Score, a specific time count indicating how much time you have spent in nature per day or week. 

Urban life is full of worries and conventional lifestyle can never give you peace. When you are living outdoors, you will not have to worry about tomorrow. You will be able to look towards the future with the hope of participating in newer adventures. Hardcore travelers are also changing their traveling preferences with nature destinations at the top of their bucket list.

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