The Need for Nature

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It’s not a unique discovery that being out in nature will benefit your health, this is a little reminder that perhaps today we ought to value it a little more than we did yesterday. It should be a piece of your weekly routine to spend some time outdoors like it is catching up on your favorite T.V series. But what is the minimum amount of time we should spend to really get benefits of nature?

Well, the magic number is 120 minutes a week, according to the University of Exeter, which is a little longer than one film or about 5 and a half FRIENDs episodes.  Research suggests you can either complete the 120 minutes in one day or throughout the week. They saw some type of health enhancement as well as psychological enhancement regardless of who you are or what occupation you have.

Exposure to forests and trees can strengthen your immune system, lower blood pressure, reduce stress, improve mood, increase focusing capacity, increase recovery, increase energy, and improve sleep. We see all the great effects of being out there in nature, but how does it work exactly? Trees naturally produce a chemical that protects against insects, they also have antibacterial and antifungal characteristics. Just breathing the air around trees is beneficial to us humans; it boosts our white blood cell production, which helps us fight the viruses that float in our immune system.

Scientists have seen a decrease in anxiety, depression, rage, confusion, and fatigue just by surrounding yourself in a stress-free environment. With all these benefits, some people in their lives don’t get enough nature as 85 percent of the U.S. population lives in suburban and urban regions. It is therefore important that these areas have some kind of accessible green space to help their citizens live a longer and happier life.

So go get outside!

 

sources:

“Immerse Yourself in a Forest for Better Health.” Immerse Yourself in a Forest for Better Health – NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation, www.dec.ny.gov/lands/90720.html.

University of Exeter. “Two hours a week is key dose of nature for health and wellbeing.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 June 2019. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/06/190613095227.htm>.

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