7 Amazing Health Benefits of Walking in the Woods

I am always so grateful to have guest bloggers. Its important that we share our knowledge and promote the good works of others. Harris Norman is a Writer,  Explorer and Prosurvivalist.  He gives us a wonderful article on something we all should be doing everyday that is so incredibly beneficial and can change your life.  Enjoy!

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It’s pretty much common knowledge that spending as much time as possible in nature is good for your health in a variety of ways, but the ironic thing is that, when you’re suffering from an actual physical condition, a doctor will seldom tell you that you need to “spend more time outside”. Instead, they’ll probably just give you a pill and give you instructions on how often you should take it and in what amount. Rarely will a medical care professional suggest exposure to more sunlight and fresh air,  at least until the disease becomes quite serious and spending time outside turns into a necessity for treatment rather than a means of prevention.

I’m not going to get into the specific details of why I think this is; rather, I just want to shed some light on why spending time outside, in nature, is one of the best things that you can do for your body as well as your mind. There are seven reasons – well, there are more than seven, honestly – but these seven reasons are more than enough for anyone to realize that exposing themselves to the great outdoors is the best way to prevent a serious disease and drastically improve your health.

1. Great for Depression

There is a reason that most mental institutions are built in rural areas completely surrounded by nature. Multiple studies have shown that being in nature is a great way to improve your mental health and just calm down and take a break from the hectic, urban way of life. If you find that you suffer from any kind of mental condition, no matter how severe or not severe it is, taking a nice, long, relaxing stroll through the woods can probably do wonders and give you some real peace of mind.

2. Fighting Cancer

A recent Japanese study has actually proven that spending time in the great outdoors can improve your body’s natural mechanism for fighting cancer, so if you have a history of cancer in your family it is a great idea to expose yourself to some fresh forest air every once in a while. The study has succeeded in showing that walking through the woods every now and then is a great way to boost the number of NK cells in your body, cells that are imperative in fighting dormant tumors.

3. Better Sleep

This one is pretty much a given, and anyone who’s spent a night in a forest lodge probably already knows this, but I think that it is worth mentioning anyway. The quality of your sleep is drastically better after a long, nice walk in the woods, and lately this has been scientifically proven as well. The reason behind this is that human beings are pretty much rigged to rise and lay as the sun goes up and down. Our sleep cycles are tied to the cycle of day and night, and spending some time away from screens and other manner of artificial illumination is a great way of reminding our bodies of  this very important fact.

4. Good for Brain Activity

If you sometimes feel like you just can’t get your head together to work on that important school paper, a project work for work or something like that, it might be time to take a stroll through the woods. In fact, a lot of kindergartens around the world (especially Germany) are being built in forested areas, as recent research suggests that it has a positive effect on the cognitive development of children’s’ brains.

5. It Regulates Blood Pressure

High or low blood pressure is a common condition that many people around the world experience and it can be quite dangerous if left unmonitored; the good news is that a walk through the forest can do wonders for your cardiovascular health and even help get your blood pressure back to normal.

6.  Helps with Obesity

Just like blood pressure issues, obesity is something that an increasingly large number of people suffer from day to day, and certain studies have shown that one of the best and healthiest ways to lose weight is just to go on a good old-fashioned, long walk through a natural environment. You’ll burn a lot of calories, and thanks to all that fresh air you won’t feel as drained or as fatigued as you might feel when you come back from a gym. Instead, it’s common to feel invigorated and full of energy, which is always a plus when it comes to exercise, so you won’t end up craving all sorts of unhealthy foods afterward.

7. Reduced Stress

Finally, spending time in the great outdoors is a great way to battle one of the most dangerous everyday phenomena that constantly threatens to compromise our health – stress. Stress can lead to a number of mental and physical conditions, and spending time outside in a pollution-free and noise-free environment is the best thing that you can do to minimize or even eliminate your stress altogether. Consider it an investment in your overall health, and there is nothing that should be more important to you than your health.

Healthy living and wellbeing have always been Harris’s main occupation. He’s a certified fitness instructor and in the last ten years, he’s taken up hiking and trekking as a way of staying in shape and keeping his inner peace. He shares his experiences and advice on http://www.prosurvivalist.com as one of its revered writers.

 

 

 

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