Our lives become busier and busier. We hardly take the time to really relax. And once the stress has hit, we seek our salvation in all kinds of remedies. But did you know that nature is the solution? We are happy to convince you of the 10 scientifically proven reasons for you.
# 1 Better Short-Term Memory
Staying in the open air, or rather the tranquility of nature promotes short-term memory. Students at the University of Michigan discovered that short-term memory performs better if you are outside and little is distracted. The reason behind this is that the brain receives relatively less stimulation (distraction) and therefore, as it were, more ‘rest’ comes, which ultimately benefits the short-term memory.
Two groups were compared. One who undertook a walk through a busy city and one who took a walk through nature? The prison test that was taken after the trips showed surprising results. The group that had intensely enjoyed the peace, space and fresh outside air scored better or the memory test than the group that had wandered around in the city’s highly stimulating environment.
# 2 Sharper Thinking And Creativity
“Imagine a therapy that has no side effects, that is immediately available, and that can improve your cognitive functioning at zero cost.” That is the dramatic opening of a report from Psychological Science that describes the promise of so-called “nature therapy”.
Students were asked to repeat order of numbers. These turned out to be much more accurate with the group that had previously taken a walk in nature. Another study showed that people who spent their time in nature were stimulated more to creative problem-solving.
# 3 Possible Anti-Cancer Effects
Research on this relationship is still at an early stage, but preliminary studies have suggested that spending time in nature – in forests, in particular – can stimulate the production of anti-cancer proteins. The enhanced levels of these proteins can last up to seven days after a relaxing trip to the forest.
Studies in Japan have also found that areas with a larger forest coverage rate have lower mortality rates in relation to a wide range of cancers, even after adjusting for smoking habits and socio-economic status. Although these are all preliminary results, without any formal scientific status, the interim results look promising.
# 4 Increase Immune System
The cellular activity associated with possible anti-cancer effects of a forest (see # 7) is also an indication of a general boost to the immune system. And we all know what this is for. Even if it was only good to avoid this bad cold this year!
# 5 Improved mental health
Fear, depression and other psychological problems can all be relieved by sometime in the wild – especially when combined with physical activity. One study found that forest walks were associated with reduced levels of anxiety and bad moods, and another study indicated that outdoor walks could be “useful clinically and complement the existing treatments” for the major depressive disorder.
# 6 Because It’s Fun
Perhaps the most important, not scientifically proven, the reason for going out and moving is because it is just fun. Nothing is more beautiful than in the morning extra early to close your front door behind you, take a walk and see the roe grazing in the field. Or step on your mountain bike and feel the adrenaline flowing through your body at that immensely steep descent.
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