5 Amazing Health Benefits of Spending Time in Nature

Posted on May 23, 2018 in Natural Health

5 Amazing Health Benefits of Spending Time in Nature

Getting out of your house to walk through a forest or stroll around a park offers multiple benefits for your mind and body.

Photo Credit: Riccardo Chiarini via Unsplash under License 

  1. Improved Mental Functioning

A walk outside helps to clear your mind and boost your mental clarity. Visiting places of spectacular natural beauty that produce a sensation of ‘awe’ are an especially effective type of mental boost. Studies have revealed that people who took a short walk in a forest before completing a second short-term memory test received a result that was twenty percent higher than their first score. People who walked down a city road before retesting showed no improvement.

Connecting with nature also helps you to focus and can improve your concentration. Even children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) enjoyed far higher concentration levels after a stroll through the woods. Nature therapy – or Green therapy, as it is sometimes called – can also boost creative thinking by as much as fifty percent.

  1. Improved Physical Health

Out of control inflammation can contribute to the development of autoimmune disorders such as depression, inflammatory bowel disease or even cancer. Green therapy can reduce inflammation, and preliminary studies have also suggested that getting out in nature can stimulate the production of proteins which combat cancers. Enjoying nature can also boost the immune system, making you less likely to suffer from infections, colds and flu. It has also been shown that children who play outside and spend more time outdoors have a significantly lower possibility of developing myopia or near-sightedness.

  1. Improved Mental Health

Exposure to green nature can alleviate depression, anxiety, and Just being outside in nature calms you naturally. Relief from many mental health issues can come by combining exercise with spending time outside. Both heart rate and cortisol levels are used as markers for stress levels – and studies have shown that a walk in a wood or forest can regulate your heart rate and decrease the amount of the cortisol hormone in your body. Green therapy can also increase self-esteem which is vital for the improvement in many psychological conditions. Additionally, getting out and about encourages interaction with other people, which can be highly therapeutic.








Photo Credit: Jake Thacker via Unsplash under License 

  1. Increased Lifespan

Studies have revealed a twelve percent lower mortality rate in elderly people who spend more time in nature. Some of the biggest improvements were noted in the incidence of lung and kidney disease and cancer. Elderly people can experience a decrease in hypertension when out in a natural setting. Some older people may find it difficult to reach and walk through forests or parks – so working in the garden is a great alternative. Gardening encourages mobility and helps improve flexibility, respiration, coordination and balance. Even if you do not have a garden, many of these benefits can be enjoyed with an indoor grow tent.

  1. Improved Quality of Life

People who spend time in nature generally feel happier and more content with their lives. Getting out in green space encourages exercise – helping to maintain a healthy weight which is vital to good health. Spending time outdoors raises vital Vitamin D levels via sensible sunlight exposure and gives you a chance to breathe clean, unpolluted air. Enjoying green spaces allows you to feel connected with your place in the natural world. One great way to enhance this connection is by taking off your shoes and going barefoot, which encourages the development of new neural connections, strengthens your senses, stimulates your nervous system, increases immunity, and improves balance. Studies have revealed that children who start wearing shoes at a later age have stronger and more developed feet, which make walking, running and exercise easier for them – thus encouraging better health in later life.


Harper Reid is a freelance writer from Auckland, New Zealand who loves spending time in nature. She spends her weekends going on impromptu road trips, hiking with friends, or simply caring for her garden. Find more of her work here.


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