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Nature Can Improve Your Health

By Paul Rothbart

The three essentials keys to good health are eating well, getting regular exercise, and quality sleep. If you've got these covered you're probably pretty healthy. There are many other little things that you can do that help add up to better health. One of these is spending time in nature. This can be hiking in the woods, strolling in a local park, or just spending some time in your own backyard. Nature has gifts for those who seek it out. Here are some of the benefits being out in a natural setting can provide.

Lower Stress Levels

Chronic stress is one of the most damaging things to mental and physical health. Research has shown that getting out and enjoying nature can reduce your overall stress. It can lower blood pressure, muscle tension, and the production of the stress hormone, cortisol. Nature has also been shown to increase mood-elevating brain chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin. Just looking out a window at nature can also be helpful.

It Can Increase Activity

Being outdoors in the fresh air and sunshine amongst the plants and animals can be motivational. The beauty of nature can be a draw to get you outside and moving. It encourages long walks that are so good for the body and mind. Being out in nature can help you feel more energetic. Anything that increases your activity level will also boost your health.

It Can Reduce Inflammation

Inflammation is part of how the body heals injuries and fights illnesses. But chronic inflammation can cause pain and lead to heart disease and strokes. Studies in senior citizens have shown that those who spent a week in the woods showed a significant reduction of inflammation. Some also showed reduced hypertension.

It Can Improve Memory

Research has also discovered that spending time in nature can improve short-term and working memory. One study found that walks in nature boosted memory by as much as 20 percent. Another found that walking in nature improved memory more than strolling in an urban environment.

It Can Reduce Anxiety and Depression

Depression is a major affliction that affects millions. Spending time in nature has been shown to reduce anxiety. Exercising in nature, even just a leisurely walk in a park can significantly reduce the risk of depression. The better your mental health, the more energetic you feel. This can create a positive spiral that can help keep you mentally healthy.

There is perhaps nothing more important than your health. It's important to take good care of your mind and body. Spending time in nature regularly can contribute to physical and mental health. 

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Tempe, Ariz.

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