Are you wondering what the benefits of taking a nature walk are? Not only is taking a walk good exercise, but there are many other benefits as well. Today, I'm going to go over the top reasons why you should take a nature walk as soon as possible. Now is the perfect time of year to take a hike with the cool air and the beautiful fall scenery. So, go grab your hiking boots because I'm sure you'll want to take a nature walk when you're done reading this article.
Nature Walks Reduce Stress and Depression
Studies have shown that brisk walking boosts endorphins, which improves your mood and reduces stress and depression. Walking gives you more energy, which also improves your positive feelings. Not only does the walking itself improve your mood, but the sunlight also helps reduce stress. Low vitamin D levels can cause brain fog, depression, stress, and can even cause an increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease. A nature walk can also be relaxing because nobody demands anything from you. You don't have to be stressed about work or money. Simply enjoy the scenery and take lots of photos to remember your nature walk.
A Nature Walk May Prevent Cancer
Research has shown that a nature walk may help prevent and even cure cancer. Since exercise lowers blood estrogen, taking a nature walk helps lower the risk of getting cancer. Exercise also reduces other cancer-growth factors such as insulin. Another study showed that taking a nature walk in the forest can increase your NK (natural killer) cell activity. NK cells are what help fight cancer. In the study, blood samples were taken from small groups of volunteers before they set out on their forest expedition.
After staying in the forest a few days, their blood was taken again for analysis and it showed a remarkable increase in the NK cell activity. This increased NK cell activity will last for many months to come. Even a one-day forest hike will increase your NK cell activity. Going for a nature walk on a regular basis will increase the NK cell activity even more.
Taking a Nature Walk Helps You Lose Weight
Taking any walk will help you get in shape, whether it is on a trail, at the park, or along a sidewalk. Nature walks are even better for those who want some exercise because most trails have a lot of hills. Your heart rate is increased greatly when you walk uphill than when you walk on level ground. In addition to helping you lose weight, taking a nature walk also tones your body. The glutes and hamstrings, for example, are involved with knee flexion and hip extension. While walking on flat ground, there is a minimal amount of stress on these muscles. But when you walk up hills, these muscles will be forced to work harder. As a result, your muscles will become stronger.
Nature Walks Lower Blood Pressure
In the same study that showed that taking a nature walk lowers the risk of cancer also showed that nature walks lower blood pressure. Although any exercise will lower your blood pressure, the study revealed that walking in a forest area lowers your blood pressure more than walking in the city area. This may be because stress causes high blood pressure, but when you are walking in nature you aren't stressed. Whatever the reason may be, this is a great excuse to take a vacation hiking in the forest.
Nature Walks Help with Colds and Flu
This is the time of year when the common cold and flu are going around. Taking a walk can help with congestion and may help you get over your sickness quicker. Taking a walk in nature can also speed your recovery after you are sick. Remember to stay well hydrated when taking your walk. Dehydration can prolong your sickness, as well as make it worse. Bring a bottle of water along with you when you take your hike.
Walking in Nature Improves Your Memory
Studies have found that taking a walk in nature helps improve your memory. This may be because walking helps you de-stress. Stress has been known to cause brain fog and cause you to forget things. Although there isn't much of an explanation why walking in nature improves your memory, there is plenty of evidence that it does.
You'll Capture Some Amazing Photos
Hopefully, you'll remember to bring your camera along when you take a nature walk. It doesn't matter if you walk at a national park or a simple trail, because nature itself is full of life and beautiful things. You'll most likely be able to find beautiful flowers, birds, insects, trees, and other plants along your nature walk. If you take a walk with your family, you can get some family photos and maybe even a Christmas photo.
Bring Your Kids Along Because They'll Benefit From It Too
A nature walk isn't just healthy for adults. Whether you take a nature walk with preschoolers or with teenagers, they will benefit from a nature walk both mentally and physically. Here are some reasons why you should bring your kids along on your next nature walk.
A Nature Walk Promotes Family Bonding
Taking a nature walk with your family promotes bonding time. You and your family can talk about your nature walk observations, as well as talk about things going on in daily life. There are many nature walk activities that your family can do together. Scavenger hunts, races, and looking for objects that begin with certain letters are just a few nature walk activities that your kids may have fun doing. Not only are they fun, but they are also a great learning experience.
A Nature Walk Encourages Kids to Use Their Imagination
A nature walk encourages children to be full of curiosity and use their imaginations. Using your imagination is necessary for creative thinking. It makes life more fun and it teaches your kids important lessons. Your kids will most likely ask you a lot of questions when you take your nature hike. It's ok if you don't know all the answers. When you get home, encourage your kids to look up their questions on the internet or in a nature book.
Your Kids Will Learn a Lot from a Nature Walk
Your kids will learn a lot by taking a nature walk. They'll learn about the different bird species and different types of plants. Consider bringing a nature book along so that they can identify what different plants and trees are called. As I mentioned above, encourage your children to do further research on nature when they get home. They could even write an essay on everything they learned while on their nature walk.
Nature Walks Reduce Stress That Kids May Have
Just as a nature walk can reduce your stress, nature walks can also reduce the stress your kids have. Problems at school, with siblings, or with their friends can cause stress and anxiety in children. A simple walk in nature can help your kids calm down and de-stress. Not only is it healthy for the mind to take a nature walk, but walking also lowers your kids' blood pressure, which also helps reduce stress. Overall, taking your kids for a nature walk is mentally refreshing.
Nature Walks Are Good Exercise
In this day and age, the amount of exercise kids get has been decreased. New technology has invented video games and kids are encouraged to watch movies on their days off from school. When they're at school, they must sit in class. Encourage your children to get some exercise by taking a nature walk. Nature walks will get their heart rate up, which improves your kids' cardiovascular health. They will also be strengthening their muscles and will get them sweating, which detoxes the body.
Taking a nature walk is refreshing both physically and mentally. Studies have shown that taking a walk in nature reduces stress, lowers your blood pressure, improves your memory, and can even prevent cancer. Other beneficial reasons why you should take a nature walk is that it helps you lose weight, get fit, and improve the health of your heart. Although any walk will do, a walk in nature is much healthier than a walk around your neighborhood. Hiking trails usually have hills, which improves the health of your heart. And unless you're at a crowded trail, there shouldn't be much noise and stress.
Not only is taking a hike healthy for you, but it is also a great experience for your kids. It encourages kids to get some exercise, learn about nature, not be stressed, and to bond with each other. The benefits of taking a walk in nature are endless. I hope this article has inspired you to go take a walk in nature. Be sure to soak in these moments being in nature either by yourself or with your family. Don't forget to bring a camera along. There will most likely be beautiful scenery where you will be hiking. Have fun!