Why walking in nature is good for your health?
Some amazing reasons why you need walking in nature
Reading time: 10 minutes
Walking in nature is good for both body and mind, a simple form of exercise that should become part of our lifestyle.
In recent years, many studies have been proven the benefits of a walk in the open air and remarkable improvements to people’s health thanks to regular physical exercise.
We listed the main benefits to your body and your mind and the reasons why you should take a nature walk.
THE BENEFITS FOR THE BODY
1. Improves Immune Functioning
Walking in nature for about 30 minutes helps to improve the immune system and to reduce the risk of disease. If consistently over time, it can have significant effects on our body.
In Japanese culture, there is a centuries-old practice called Shinrin-yoku, which means “forest bathing”. It is an immersion in nature without any form of distraction. This wellness therapy allows the body to obtain positive effects from the sounds and the scents of nature.
A study carried out in Japan has examined the effect of a forest bathing trip on human immune function.
By lowering the levels of cortisol in the blood, the hormone responsible for managing stress, the functioning of the circulatory system and the immune system improve, with positive effects for the whole organism
2. Extend the life
We all know how risky a sedentary lifestyle is to our health.
A study at the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) of Leicester Biomedical Research Center has shown that people who walk at a faster pace have longer life expectations and lower body mass index (BMI), which is usually associated with better health. The simple combination of physical activity outdoors and better air quality contributes to a longer and healthier life.
3. Can lower blood pressure
One of the health benefits of walking in nature is to help to keep your blood pressure down and improve heart activity. Walking fast is also beneficial for the heart as it accelerates the heartbeat, makes blood and oxygen circulate to the muscles and organs, including the brain. The heart is a muscle: the more it is trained, the more it is strengthened.
4. Prevent diabetes
A study conducted by the American Diabetes Association has shown that exercise is the recommended therapy in the management of type 2 diabetes.
In fact, walking regularly, with a variable rhythm and frequency, can help keep blood glucose levels under control, prevent weight gain and combat diabetes.
5. Increased Vitamin D
Vitamin D is essential for the proper functioning of the human body. It protects bones, reduces inflammation and helps strengthen the immune system. Nutrition is not enough to guarantee an adequate level of vitamin D, exposure to sunlight is necessary. Even getting out for only ten minutes, it’s still worth it.
6. Lose weight and tone the muscles
According to experts, 30 minutes of walking at a brisk pace are enough to keep fit. Combined with a healthy diet, a regular walk can help you lose weight and tone your muscles without excessive effort.
A study of College of Sport Science in Korea has shown that walking exercise is not only a major muscle group exercise involving rhythmic and dynamic movement, but it is also a typical aerobic exercise that is relatively stable and economic.
7. It’s good for the eyes
Nowadays we spend a lot of time indoors in front of electronic devices screens, in artificially illuminated rooms and our eyes are put to the test. According to the study of the University of Sydney, higher levels of total time spent outdoors were associated with less myopia in children.
Outdoor activities, for example walking in nature, can relax the eyes and exercises different muscles focusing on distant landscapes.
THE BENEFITS FOR THE MIND
1. Improves Mood
The quiet of nature induces a calm and pleasant state of mind. Researches show that the scents of nature have a powerful effect on our health and decrease levels of the cortisol stress hormone. Smells are closely tied to the emotional center in our brain and can arouse a sense of nostalgia or other emotions relating to our past.
By exposing yourself to a green environment, without distractions, you can improve both your self-esteem and mood. The combination of exercise, fresh air and the quiet peace of a natural landscape will help to improve your mood and feel relieved.
2. Improves Memory
Walking in nature such as in parks, forests or green areas surrounded by trees and allowing the mind to be quiet has been found to aid learning, to improve memory and attention.
By stimulating cardiorespiratory functions, blood flow to the brain, improving brain functions such as memory and attention.
3. Improve concentration and productivity
A study from the University of Tampere in Finland has proven that spending time outdoors with natural scenery improves brain function such as concentration and productivity.
Oxygen is essential in maintaining healthy brain function, growth, and healing. Therefore, when you take a walk outside and breathe fresh air the brain function improves, the energy levels boost.
4. Nurtures Creativity
A walk in the open air, away from electronic devices, greatly increases creative ability. Nature plays a fundamental role in our way of thinking and behaving and as a consequence, our brain feels relaxed. Unlike urban environments where shop windows, street signs, electronic screens represent sources of distraction for our mind, in nature, it is easier to find concentration and creativity can flourish.
5. Improve quality sleep
Nature walkings can improve quality night-time sleep, potentially enhancing physiological health as shown in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
Artificial lights, noises from the streets, electronic devices are all elements that affect our sleep cycle. Walking in nature and being exposed to natural light can help to entrain a strong circadian rhythm, which promotes healthy sleep. Exercise also leads to stress reduction and physical well-being, both of which could be pathways to sleeping better.
6. Stress Reduction
Many people work indoors all day and feel under pressure because of a variety of factors.
Studies have shown that people who spend more time in natural environments have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol compared to their counterparts who spend most of their time indoors.
A study carried out at the University of Michigan and published in Frontiers in Psychology, suggests that taking 20 minutes to stroll in nature will help the brain produce endorphins, which are neurotransmitters responsible for regulating mood so reducing the stress hormone levels.
Nature walks are suitable for everyone: they are cheap compared to a gym membership. You don’t need specific training, you just need willingness and perseverance.
In addition to all the beneficial effects, nature teaches us to accept the unexpected, to rediscover the pleasure of the slowness and silence that surrounds us.
To begin walking in nature you just need breathable sportswear, comfortable shoes according to the path and a suitable backpack.
Royal Eagle Road is an Italian brand of outdoor backpacks. Depending on the duration of your outdoor activities, we suggest our Brigante 28 liter, Santiago 45 liter and Himalaya 65 liter models. All the backpacks have breathable backrests, lumbar belts and are compatible with hydration systems.
Give them a look, we ship in Europe!
Royal Eagle Road
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