Are you stuck in an endless cycle of city life – long hours at the office and commutes, day-to-day stressors, and phone alerts every five seconds?
If you can’t remember the last time you breathed fresh air, let the sunshine hit your skin, or logged out of the online world for more than two minutes…it might be time to break away from it all with a simple walk around your local park or nature trail.
Studies show that there are great health benefits to simply stepping out into nature and leaving technology behind for a while: improved mental & physical wellbeing, more energy, stress relief…the list goes on!
Why Walking in Nature is Good for You (5 Reasons)
Obviously, stepping outside for a breath of fresh air into green spaces is really beneficial, and here are a few reasons why walking in lush natural environments can be good for you!
So put down your phone and pick up those hiking boots – let’s get started on our outdoor adventure together!
1. Boosts Your Physical Health
Walking amongst trees, greenery, and fresh air isn’t just a great way to get in touch with your inner zen, but it also has numerous physical health benefits too.
According to research, taking a stroll through nature can help lower your blood pressure, reduce stress, increase your immune system, and improve your heart health.
It’s the perfect way to kickstart that healthy lifestyle you’ve been after – right in your natural surroundings!
As if that wasn’t enough, studies have also shown that getting out into nature may even help prevent chronic diseases.
So, the next time someone tells you to take a hike, take it as a compliment and get outside for some fresh air and, of course, to boost your physical health! (And give me a call, and I’ll join you!)
2. Enhances Your Mental Health
Feeling stressed or a bit down? Maybe all you need is a little stroll through the great outdoors.
Studies show that walking among natural elements in nature enhances your mental health in ways you might not have imagined.
For starters, it reduces anxiety and depression, giving you that much-needed boost of positive energy for overall mental health benefits. Yes, nature reduces stress!
And if you’re looking to unlock your creativity, nature is the key. The sights and sounds of the outdoors provide inspiration that can’t be found elsewhere.
But that’s not all! Walking in nature also improves cognitive function, allowing you to stay sharp and focused throughout the day.
What an easy way to up your mental and physical wellbeing and bring down those stress levels?
3. Helps Connect us with the Natural Environment
Picture this: You’re strolling through a verdant forest, spending time outdoors with the lush trees whispering in your ear… the birds are chirping, leaves are rustling, and the earth beneath your feet.
Suddenly, you feel it – your senses absorb everything around you.. A connection to nature that makes your heart sing and your soul dance.
That’s the magic of walking in nature, my friend. Not only does it provide the perfect opportunity to appreciate the natural world, but it can also help you sleep better and enhance your mindfulness and gratitude.
So go ahead, spend time outside, and get ready to connect with Mother Nature herself!
4. Accessible and Affordable
Heading out for a quick nature walk is an affordable and accessible way to combat those pesky stress hormones. Not only is it easy on the wallet, requiring only your two feet and some outdoor gear, but it can be done anywhere, from a local park to a scenic trail.
No need to spend hours at the gym or shell out for an expensive yoga class. Simply step outside and let nature work its magic in a natural setting of your choice!
Also, brisk walking outdoors is for everyone of all ages – so bring the kids and enjoy some green without spending a lot of green!
Whether you live in the city or the countryside, there are always opportunities for long walks in nature to reap its many positive effects.
5. Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Nature is the ultimate prescription for reducing stress and anxiety. Sure, you could pop a Xanax or two, but have you ever taken a stroll along a wooded path, a sandy beach, or any beautiful scenery!?
Not only can it calm the mind and soothe the soul, but it’s also great for the ol’ bod.
Walking in nature gets your heart pumping, improves muscle strength, and helps with flexibility.
Plus, you can breathe in the fresh air, listen to the birds chirping, and leave your worries behind.
Go ahead and step towards a healthier mind and body.
6. Enhances Mood and Self-Esteem
Walking in nature not only brings out the best in Instagram photos, but it also enhances mood and self-esteem. It’s like nature is the ultimate therapy session without the hefty bill at the end.
Still not convinced? Imagine being surrounded by lush greenery or stunning scenery, the fresh air hitting your face, and the crunch of leaves under your feet – it’s a recipe for happiness engaging all five senses!
Plus, the added bonus of getting some exercise without feeling like you’re slogging through a torturous workout can boost your sense of accomplishment and make you feel like a badass.
Dr. Andrew Huberman, from Stanford University, shares, “Viewing sunlight in the morning causes ~50% increase in circulating cortisol, epinephrine, and dopamine. These leverage healthy increases in energy, immune system function, and mood.”Andrew Huberman
7. Boosts Productivity and Improves Brain Fog
Ever find yourself staring at your computer screen, unsure of what to do next? You’ve got a deadline to meet, but your brain feels like a pile of mush.
Well, I hear you, my friend! The solution could be as simple as putting on your walking shoes and hitting the great outdoors.
A stroll amongst the trees, birds, and fresh air will do wonders for clearing out any brain fog you may have.
A study found that walking in nature can boost productivity too! Even looking at green – such as plants or trees through your office window, it can boost your output and focus.
So, if you’re feeling stuck, head to the nearest park or invest in that office plant to let Mother Nature work her magic on your brain.
(Your boss will thank you for your time spent at the park.)
Can Nature Walks be Beneficial in Urban Environments?
Whoever said you need to travel to the countryside to get in touch with nature clearly hasn’t explored their own city.
Yes, you heard me right. Even concrete jungles can offer urban green spaces…. Just lace up those sneakers and step outside to walk amongst the trees and skyscrapers. Soak in the present moment and enjoy the positive impact it’s having on you
It’s not just the personal fulfillment that you’ll get from a nature walk in the city, but it also provides a chance to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of the city’s rat race. Simply look up and soak in that vitamin D!
Trust me; Mother Nature is present in every corner of your town, so make the most of it today!
What is Forest Bathing, and Why Should You Do It?
Forest bathing, also known as shinrin-yoku, is a practice that involves spending time in a forest or other natural environment to improve overall wellbeing. (Walking in nature!)
As discussed, according to a study by Dr. Qing Li, spending time in a forest can reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and anger, strengthen the immune system, improve cardiovascular and metabolic health, and boost overall well-being.
Luckily, this practice can be as simple as walking in any natural environment and consciously connecting with what’s around you.
Tell your friends you’re going out forest bathing ☺️
The Wrap – Benefits of Walking with Nature
Walking in nature offers many benefits for your physical and mental well-being, and it’s a simple, affordable, and accessible form of exercise.
So, the next time you’re looking for a way to boost your health and happiness, step into nature and start walking!
Let me know your favorite hikes or trails…