How Nature Nurtures

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Do you ever feel better after spending time outside in nature? There are scientific reasons for that. Here are some of the ways Mother Nature helps care for our bodies and minds when we get out in the great outdoors.

  • It can boost vitamin D levels – Vitamin D does everything from lowering blood pressure to boosting energy to strengthening bones and our bodies naturally produce it when we’re in the sun. And all it takes is 15 to 20 minutes of sun to get that vitamin D production kicking.
  • It can reduce stress and improve your mood – If you’ve been feeling more anxious recently from like, I don’t know, a global pandemic, a short walk in nature can help. In one study, 64% of participants reported a better mood and higher life satisfaction after spending around 20 minutes walking in a park.
  • It can improve your memory and attention span – A study from the University of Michigan finds that interacting with nature for an hour at a time can improve short-term memory and attention span by 20%. And get this – the research also shows that you don’t actually have to go outside to get the benefits, just looking at pictures of nature can “improve mental fatigue.”
  • It can increase your energy levels – If you hit that dreaded mid-afternoon slump and find yourself reaching for another cup of coffee to get you over the wall, try going outside instead. Research shows spending time outdoors can leave us feeling more energetic, even if it’s just 20 minutes at a time.
  • It can improve your sleep quality – Are you part of the 35% of people the CDC reports don’t get their seven hours of snoozing a night? Another study finds that spending time in nature can improve “insufficient sleep” and boost overall sleep quality.
  • It can boost your immune system – Forest bathing is a Japanese practice that involves simply going outside and sitting in nature, taking in the sights, sounds, and smells. And the medical community is finding it brings immunology benefits, one study shows a link between forest bathing and improved cardiovascular health – with no walking, running or exercise involved.