Taking care of our health can be a tough task. We’re constantly reminded to eat healthy, go to the gym, de-stress, turn off our phones from time-to-time and the list goes on. But the biggest impact on our health is the environment.

Studies show that being in nature or even viewing scenes of nature, reduces anger, anxiety and stress. Spending time in nature reduces blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension and the production of stress hormones. Let’s explore the top 7 health benefits of being in nature.

  1. Exercise
    Getting outside usually involves some level of exercise, even if it’s just a short walk. One thing’s for sure – you’ll probably reduce time spent sitting. Even 15 – 30 minutes of exercise each day has long-term benefits for your mind and body, and decreases your risk of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and arthritis.
  2. Stress relief
    Studies show that being in nature reduces tension and depression. A study done in South Korea showed that just looking at pictures of natural settings increases people’s positivity and emotional stability.
  3. Vitamin D
    Vitamin D has a wide range of health benefits. It also helps boost our immune systems. We all need just 10 – 15 minutes of sunlight per day for our bodies to produce the proper levels of vitamin D. Get outside and treat yourself to some vitamin D.
  4. Sleep
    Being in nature can increase sleep quality. This is partly due to stress reduction, but also because exposure to sunlight during the day can increase your melatonin production at night. Melatonin is needed to regulate your sleep cycle.
  5. Eyesight
    So much time behind a screen can take its toll on your eyesight. Spending time outdoors gives your eyes a chance to focus on objects farther away. This can reduce eye-strain.
  6. Creativity
    Researchers in the US and Germany found that being in nature helps improve creativity. The German study showed that even looking at the colour green for a few seconds triggered greater creativity than other colors.
  7. Relationships
    We all spend so much time in front of a screen. Getting out into nature is a great way to reconnect with family and friends and catch up in person.

So get healthy and treat yourself to some valuable outdoor time. Visit a conservation area near you or check out one of our outdoor events.

Comments (3)

  1. All is valuable here and can be substantiated in the research and practice of benefits. You are missing the most important and all encompassing health connection. The one that connects our health ecologically.

    Connection through sauntering and stewarding Nature regularly provides aesthetic knowledge conscious and unconsciously that is critical for our culture to support a healthy watershed – actually to learn to develop a mutually beneficial relationship with the system happens as we begin to sense our relationship to the system. So we should appeal to the value that emphasizes ecological health and try to avoid promoting a selfish and disconnected view for being involved. Make our citizens aware that getting to know the watershed experientially actually promotes the health of the whole system, including that one in several million species called homo sapiens – especially if it leads to community Reinhabitation of the watershed.

  2. Great input. These points are all very important to keep in mind when thinking about the relationship between humans and the environment. Thanks for sharing, Gary.

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