10 Fabulous benefits of walking in nature
Taking a walk on the wild side is good for your soul and your body, and that’s official! In a study conducted by the University of Michigan, researchers found that walking in the countryside had some amazing effects on people’s mood and health, so read on and find out how walking in nature could benefit you.
1. It is cheaper than a gym!
The first benefit of walking in the countryside, or anywhere else for that matter, is that it doesn’t cost you a penny! Some people have even dropped their gym membership in favour of walking, and just 150 minutes of walking every week will reduce stress and decrease the risk of heart disease.
2. It boosts your brain power
The University of Michigan researchers proved that a one hour stroll in nature will boost brain performance by up to one fifth. They also found that the same amount of walking through city streets has no impact on brain performance whatsoever.
3. Walking in nature can help protect you against diabetes
A British study found that, people who take a brisk walk on a regular basis improved their insulin sensitivity. This provides a significant reduction in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
4. It improves your memory
In the University of Michigan study, participants were split into two groups: one group went on a gentle stroll in the country, while the other group took a walk in a city. When the two groups returned it was found that the nature route group had experienced a 20% improvement in their short term memory.
5. It can prevent dementia
It has also been found that older people who keep up the walking habit have up to a 40% reduced risk of developing dementia. Walking six miles, or more, every week, appears to help stop brain shrinkage and stop the loss of memory.
6. Walking in nature boosts your energy levels
A brisk walk in the fresh air will also give you more energy. Get away from the smoke and the toxins of the city, and the exercise of walking will make the clean, fresh air of the countryside flow through your bloodstream and reawaken your brain.
7. It reduces stress and calms the nerves
A walk in nature is also the perfect way to unwind and reduce stress. Nature demands very little of you and getting closer to it has an incredibly positive effect on your mood. Even a walk around your local park will help you reconnect with nature and calm your nerves.
8. Walking in nature cheers you up!
The combination of exercise, fresh air and the peace and quiet of the natural world will also lift your spirits. In some cases, a walk in nature has even been found to be more effective than anti-depressants for people suffering mild, to moderate, depression.
9. It boosts the levels of Vitamin D in your body
Most of us work indoors and stay indoors when we get home too and that can cause a Vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D plays a big role in keeping us healthy and we don’t get enough of it from food alone. Getting out to the natural sunlight in the best way to produce Vitamin D, and a walk in the open air is the best way to do that.
10. Taking a walk in nature is as good as meditation
A British study found that a walking in wide open green spaces puts the brain into a state that is very close to that which is achieved through meditation. People who walk or jog regularly have been found to be up to 50% happier, than those who get all their exercise in a gym.
Do you know other benefits of walking in nature?