How being in nature is important for our health

With the current coronavirus pandemic, now more than ever is an important time to reflect on what is and isn’t helpful to our health.

Many of us will have spent much of this year (other than that important exercise time), being cooped up indoors.

‘So just how detrimental can this be to our health’?

It is proven that staying indoors too much actually affects our immune system as we lack the access to normal microbes that help to build our important defence system.

Staying indoors too much also affects our natural circadian rhythm that controls our innate sleep-wake cycle. This is because of the lack of natural sunlight that enables our body to adjust naturally.

Spending time in nature however has the opposite effect as being in nature naturally relaxes us, improving our overall mood and mental health.

One great example of this is forest therapy (shinrin-yoku) which in Japan is now offered as a part of health prescription and advised for overall health improvement.

Results have actually shown that two hours of mindful exploration in a forest can reduce blood pressure, lower stress levels and improve concentration and memory. 

Pretty amazing results for some enjoyable time in nature.

Whilst working with personal training and coaching clients we often do our session outdoors in parks and it always enhances the positive effect, as clients feel much more relaxed as well as reporting feeling more positive than when just in the gym or training at home.

Overall if we can make a concertive effort to spend more time in nature we will find it having a positive effect on all areas of our life by leading us to feel healthier and happier thus leading to a healthier society. Spending time in nature also provides a great sanctuary for when times get difficult, of which we all have these.

Please don’t just take my word for it. Give it a try for yourself. Try setting in your schedule regular times each week in which you can spend time in nature and see for yourself what a difference it can make.

Enjoy connecting with the beauty of nature and the natural sounds and you may even discover more about yourself.

Nature itself is the best physician’ – Hippocrates

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