Why spending time in nature is good for your health

Taking a break, looking around and contemplating nature is a source of benefit demonstrated by several studies. A ray of sunshine ? Take the opportunity to escape the city for a few moments!

Nature would reduce stress and help to find more meaning in one’s own life. In any case, this is what a study by the University of Chiba (Japan) states. Being in symbiosis with nature increases the chances of being more serene and this is scientifically verified. The research focused on two groups for a total of 280 people. A first group stayed in town while the second stayed in the forest before switching. The results showed that in the forest, individuals had lower blood pressure, pulse rate and cortisol (stress hormone) levels on average.

The immune system is also involved, as evidenced by research from the Tokyo School of Medicine (still in Japan!). Walking in the forest obviously strengthens the muscles, but simple contact with nature would be a source of benefit. Researchers designate phytoncides, these molecules secreted by plants whose effects would be positive on the human body. There is a trend in Japan: forest bathing (shinrin yoku or sylvotherapy) recommended as a soft and preventive medicine, so why not?

The brain can also be stimulated by long walks according to the University of Kansas and Utah (USA). Far from technology, our creativity would regain momentum at a rate of 50%! The scientists sent 56 individuals to contemplate landscapes in magnificent regions in Alaska, Maine and even Colorado. Staying in nature for a long time, coupled with stopping the use of technologies, would be a winning cocktail!

Finally, there is the physical form of course! One hour of walking in the forest allows the evacuation of nearly 500 calories as indicated by the Fitday site. Reduced blood pressure and prevention of heart disease are the main benefits. Walking is also a less restrictive activity than intensive sports which put strain on certain parts of the body, for example the joints.

Of course, these statements are not necessarily meant to be taken at face value. Indeed, happiness being a completely subjective concept, it is quite possible to be happy in the city. However, keep in mind that nature is something beautiful and useful for recharging one’s batteries.

Sources: Le Journal de Montréal – Mr Globalization

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