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10 Reasons Why Being in Nature is Good for You

It’s not just a myth, being outside really is good for you. Here’s why it’s helpful to spend time outdoors.

Why nature is good for you, infographic

It’s not just a myth, being outside really is good for you. Here’s why it’s helpful to spend time outdoors.   

1. Walks in nature help your memory  

In general, exercise is great, but one study from the University of Michigan showed participants who took a memory test and then walked in nature did 20% better than those who took the test and then took a walk around the city.1 Mother Earth knows what she’s doing.  

2. You feel happier  

According to one Finnish study, spending just 15 minutes sitting in nature helped people feel psychologically restored. Those results were even faster when they spent that time walking.2  

3. Nature can literally heal  

One study shows that people exposed to more natural light healed faster from a spinal surgery and reportedly had less pain than others.3 It seems nature served as a natural drug for them, because they also took fewer pain medications.  

Related: Eating the Rainbow

4. You can concentrate better  

Taking a break in nature can improve your concentration4  by giving your brain a well-needed break. Leave your phone behind and let your mind unwind from the overstimulation so common with modern, busy life.  

5. It prompts weight loss  

Being outside may not be a magical diet pill all by itself, but it does tend to make exercise more enjoyable. What’s more, some aspects of outdoor exercise like hiking may help you lose weight in an unexpected way. Spending time at higher altitudes can speed up your metabolism and lower your appetite.5   

6. Your vitamin D supply improves

Spending time in the sun helps your body create vitamin D—a vitamin that studies have shown may help prevent cancer, osteoporosis, and heart attacks.6   

7. Nature limits your stress

Being in mother nature, even if just in your own neighborhood, can reduce stress in the body. Studies show spending time outdoors can lower your heart rate—a symptom of stress.7   

8. You age less painfully  

Want to age gracefully? Going outside every single day may be the key. One study showed 70-year-old participants who spent time outside every single day had fewer complaints of common aging pains (e.g., aching bones, not sleeping) at age 77 than those who didn’t.8  

9. It strengthens your immune system  

A Japanese study showed women who spent six hours in the woods over a two-day period increased their white blood cells, which fight virus, and the boost lasted about a week after the experiment.9   

10. It lightens feelings of depression  

As shown above, being in Mother Nature heals you in so many ways—including your mental health. Multiple studies have linked nature walks with improved mental health.10     

Related: 4 Reasons To Ditch Your Device

References:

1 https://www.spring.org.uk/2009/01/memory-improved-20-by-nature-walk.php

2 http://time.com/4662650/nature-happiness-stress/

3 https://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/spending-time-outdoors-is-good-for-you

4 https://www.health.com/mind-body/health-benefits-of-nature

5 https://www.wired.com/2010/02/high-altitude-weight-loss/

6 https://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/spending-time-outdoors-is-good-for-you

7 https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/22/how-the-outdoors-make-you_n_5508964.html

8 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18332184

9 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18394317

10 https://www.uofmhealth.org/news/archive/201409/walking-depression-and-beating-stress-outdoors-nature-group

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Amberlee Lovell Peterson
Amberlee is a content manager, freelance writer, and designer. She is currently working on launching her own podcast and loves baby foxes.