The Benefits of ‘Enjoying Nature’ March 22, 2019
In today’s world of powerful technology, people sometimes feel a need to simplify their lives, and get back to nature. In fact, studies show that enjoying nature can have huge benefits in all parts of our lives.
There are so many ways you can take advantage of the benefits of nature. Here are just some of the benefits of enjoying nature…
1. Helps to relieve stress
The demands of work or school can often be stressful. High levels of stress are associated with depression, obesity, and high blood pressure. But stress can often be easily managed. Physicians and therapists recognize the importance of regular exercise. Simply getting outside in the ‘fresh air’ is a great way to help ease emotional and mental stress .
In fact, studies have even shown that office workers with window views are more satisfied and less stressed at work than those without windows views. If you don’t have a window in your work-space, take time to go for a walk at lunch, and feel the stress-busting effects of ‘enjoying nature’.
2. Strengthens your immune system
The immune system works best when challenged regularly. Of course, everywhere you go outdoors, you are exposed to new varieties of germs. But that kind of contact tends to strengthen your body’s natural germ-fighting power. It’s kind of like ‘exercise’ for the immune system.
3. Sharpens Your Focus
A 2011 study found that spending twenty minutes walking in a nearby park was sufficient enough to elevate attention performance in children with ADHD. This so-called “dose of nature” could prove to be a more natural solution to attention deficit disorder in children.
Companies routinely offer time for employees to ‘get away’ to a wilderness retreat. Why? Because it’s been shown to enhance creative problem solving and cognitive functioning. Spending time in a ‘wilderness retreat’ is sure to help you tackle a big assignment or personal goal.
4. Helps to lose weight
Exercise and proper diet are the two most effective ways to stop the spread of obesity. You can burn 149 calories each half hour of walking in the park, and 372 calories every half hour by riding your bike. To encourage kids to get exercise outside, find a fun activity to do as a family. Increase your time walking, biking, running, and playing outside and lower your risk of obesity.
5. Improves short-term memory
Everyone sometimes has trouble remembering names, or trivial facts. But there is growing evidence that short-term memory is improved by spending time outside, in a ‘natural’ environment.
The University of Michigan performed a study where two groups of students were given a memory test. Then, one group was assigned to take a short walk in a garden, the other to walk down a city street. Afterwards, they performed the memory test again. Those who walked through the garden improved their scores by 20 percent, while no consistent improvement was observed in the participants who walked in the city.
We’re spending more time inside than ever before. Computers, tablets, cell phones, and video games all hog our attention, preventing us from getting into nature. Recent findings show children ages 8 -18 spend more than six hours each day on electronic media. Children who spend little time outside are more prone to developing chronic health problems. Diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and depression are common companions of a sedentary indoor lifestyle.
Help your family learn healthy habits and encourage your children to put down those electronic devices, and go play outside. From Whistler to the UBC Cliffs get out and enjoy Vancouver!