How Nature Helps Both Physical and Mental Wellbeing
We’ve all spent a lot of time indoors recently, and it does seem as though the less we leave the house, the less likely we are to feel motivated to open the front door and breathe in that beautiful fresh air. It’s worth making an effort though; just a few minutes outside brings a multitude of benefits for both your physical and emotional health.
A 2019 study, which examined the association between recreational nature contact (ie. exposure to green spaces) and health and wellbeing, discovered that participants who reported 120 minutes of contact with nature over week also reported good health and higher wellbeing. The study was conducted over a range of key groups, including older adults with existing health conditions.
This comes as no surprise — it is well-documented that a simple walk in the woods or park has a calming effect, and a calm body is healthier than a stressed one, with lower rates of cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes and mental distress. In addition to this, people who spend time outside tend to sleep better at night; another important factor in achieving high wellbeing and good health.
Our connection to nature is deep-rooted in evolution and remaining close to it is the key to improved wellbeing. We live in a fast-paced world with a 24/7 virtual life, and it is easy to forget the benefits of going for a walk, or even just stepping outside into the garden or on to the balcony. But, did you know that studies have also shown that a nature walk improves memory and other cognitive functions? Not only will your mood feel elevated but you will also benefit from heightened concentration, better problem-solving skills and, crucially, time away from the constant pressure of notifications and screen-time.
So, take a deep breath, open the door and immerse yourself in a health-boosting, mood-improving landscape.