Walking In Nature: 10 Unexpected Health And Wellness Benefits

With the arrival of springtime, I can’t wait to spend as much time outdoors as possible.

Whether going for a walk in the park, or camping with the entire family, outdoor activities that have been on hold all winter can finally be enjoyed once again.

But as I’ve gotten ready to spend more time outside, I’ve stumbled upon some shocking and exciting information: going for a walk in nature is actually great for your health and overall well-being.

This might seem like common sense, but many of these benefits totally took me by surprise. Who knew that a hike in the woods could boost my memoryand lower my blood pressure?

Scroll through below for an exclusive look at the unexpected health and wellness benefits of walking in nature.

For those who already love spending time in nature, this will be extremely welcoming news. And for those who don’t, it may just be time to take up regular nature walks with so many benefits, it would be a shame not to!

Do you enjoy walking in nature? Do you know of any other benefits of walking in nature? Let us know in the comments!

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1. Fights Depression

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If you suffer from mild depression or just feel down a lot of the time, going for a stroll in the park might just be the answer.

According to the Atlantic, “A study finds that wild environments boost well-being by reducing obsessive, negative thoughts.”

It might seem like common sense that a walk in nature can improve your mood for a few minutes, but science has shownthat the effects might last much longer than that!

2. Increases Creativity And Problem Solving

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If you are looking to activate the creative or problem solving side of your brain, a walk outdoors could be just the ticket.

Psychology Today writes, “Both sensitivity and creativity blossom best when we give ourselves the time to walk in the natural world.”

And according to Everybodywalk.org, “Individuals who spent time backpacking through the woods without access to technology demonstrated improved ability in creativity and problem solving.”

3. Boosts Memory

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With so much going on in life, it can be easy to forget birthdays, appointments, or where we put the keys.

But walking in nature has been proven to have a positive effect on an individual’s memory.

According toEverybodywalk.org, researchers discovered that students “demonstrated a significant increase in… short-term memory after a walk through a natural setting.”

4. Eliminates Stress

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If you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or stressed out, it is probably time to get out of the house (or the office) and go for a walk in nature.

According to theAtlantic, “Exposure to nature has been shown repeatedly to reduce stress and boost well-being.”

5. Improves Lung Health

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It makes sense that fresh air would be good for you, but it can actually have a long-term positive effect on your lung health.

According to the Globe and Mail: “A single exposure to polluted air can trigger lung [problems].

“Even downtown parks and riverside bike paths are likely to have significantly better air quality than busy city streets, and trees offer an additional protective effect.”

6. Lowers Blood Pressure

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In addition to speaking with your doctor, if you have high blood pressure, you could likely benefit from a lovely walk in nature.

According to the American Hiking Society, “Nearly one-third of American adults have high blood pressure.

“Physical activity such as hiking lowers blood pressure four to 10points.”

7. Increases Self-Esteem

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If you are simply looking for that extra little boost of confidence, nature walks might hold the key.

Jonathan Penney of the National Academy of Sports Medicine writes that walking is great for “increased self-esteem.”

He does go on to say that even if you can’t make it to a nature trail, “any walk is better than no walk.”

8. Improves Heart Health

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As if there weren’t already enough benefits to taking nature walks, improved heart health can be added to the list.

According to Dr. Oz, “In a Japanese study, 280 people undertook a popular practice called “forest bathing,” which merely involves a short leisurely visit to a forest.

“These forest-goers had lower levels of cortisol [and] lower pulse rates.”

9. Increases Endurance

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If you find that your endurance levels are pretty low, simple walks in the park could be a huge help.

According to Active.com: “Sandy Kweder, a physician who runs about 12 miles a week, told me that when she returned to running after taking almost a year off, she started by walking her dog for about a mile and a half every morning.

“Then she would go out for her run. She noticed a vast improvement.”

10. Fights ADHD

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Having trouble focusing or know someone who is? Try taking things out into nature.

According to a study from Dr. Frances E. Kup and Dr. Andrea Faber Taylor, “Spending time away from technology actually helped reduce any type of ADHD symptoms in children.

“So if you think your kid just can’t sit still, take them out into the wild!”

These incredible health and wellness benefits may just be the inspiration people need to get themselves back out into nature!

Do you enjoy walking or hiking in nature? Let us know in the comments.

PleaseSHARE this vital wellness information with anyone who needs to spend more time outside!

Read more: http://www.littlethings.com/walking-in-nature-wellness-benefits/