July is National Park & Recreation Month and for a healthier and happier you, we’re encouraging you to take advantage of your local parks, beaches and public gardens this summer.
Why should you make a point to spend more time in nature?
According to Science Daily, “Numerous studies over the past 30 years have linked exposure to nature with improved human health and well-being."
That's one major argument to reconnect with your natural environment, and here are 3 more reasons to get out there:
1. Exposure to nature helps reduce StRESS (and keeps your skin looking young!)
“Exposure to nature not only makes you feel better emotionally, it contributes to your physical wellbeing, reducing blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones” (University of Minnesota).
By enjoying the great outdoors, not only are you reducing stress, you’re also doing your skin a huge favor. Stress and anxiety can have negative effects on your skin by causing hormonal changes in your body. These hormonal changes can result in a number of skin issues, such as “acne, psoriasis, hives, itching and thinning of the skin” (Ask Women.net). So to put it simply - the less stressed you are, the better your skin will look.
2. Spending time outside helps improve YOUR immune function
In a study by Tokyo’s Nippon Medical School, researchers found that women who spent six hours in a forest over the course of two days had an increase in virus- and tumor-fighting white blood cells. (Health.com).
In addition to new, healthy blood cells, you’re also exposing your body to its daily dose of immune boosting vitamin D (thank you, sunshine) while breathing clean, fresh air into your lungs (thank you, trees!).
Quick fact: One tree can produce approximately 260 pounds of oxygen per year. Click here to learn more about our Forests for the Future Initiative and how you can help us make the planet a greener place!
3. A walk in the park will improve your mental focus
According to a study published in Psychological Science, “Interacting with nature gives your brain a break from every day overstimulation, which can have a restorative effect on your attention levels."
Even a short mental break can have a positive effect on your weary brain by reducing fatigue and improving attention (Best Health). So, instead of eating lunch at your desk, take a walk in the park instead and unplug from technology as well (no texting and walking, people!).
Whether it’s a hike in the wilderness or enjoying a picnic in your local park, there are plenty of ways that you can take advantage of the health benefits of nature.
In which ways do you enjoy nature in your everyday life? Tell us in the comments below.