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This week, we kick off by Celebrating Mother Nature and talk about the mental and physical benefits of experiencing the outdoors! Here is a list of 5 reasons you should be spending more time in nature, according to science:
1. Boosts Energy
Do you often feel like your mind is filled with fog or that you need another cup of coffee to keep you going? Steer away from mental fatigue, skip the caffeine and get outside instead. Research has found that by exposing yourself to restorative environments with open air like the great outdoors for just twenty minutes can give you the same energy boost as drinking a cup of coffee.
2. Relieves Stress
Tense and stressed out? Look no further than the trees! Multiple studies have found that spending time in a forest can lower levels of cortisol (the hormone used as a marker for tress), decrease heart rate and essentially lower stress.
3. Enhances Creativity
Are you after a readily-available therapy with no known side effects at no cost? Think about nature! A study found that a group of students who were asked to repeat number sequences produced more accurate answers after an outdoor walk. Psychologists have also discovered that people who spent a few days outdoors (without electronics, gasp) improved their scores on creativity tests by fifty per cent.
4. Boosts Immune Function
In 2010, a review of research on the cellular activity associated with possible anti-cancer protein stimulation found that there is a general boost to the immune system associated with spending time in nature, particularly in forests. Although the research is still in the “early phase”, the boosted levels of these proteins suggests that forest environments have beneficial effects on general human immune function - like fighting off colds, flues and other less serious illnesses.
5. Reduces Pain and Inflammation
According to a study, elderly patients and surgery patients who were exposed to high-intensity sunlight reported less stress and less pain, resulting in a reduced intake of pain medication. Our bodies’ response to threats like damage and pathogens, otherwise known as inflammation, are lowered by spending time in nature.
Have we convinced you to get out this weekend? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
Sources: Business Insider and Mental Floss