Nature has been a source of inspiration and awe since the earth came into existence. People have long benefited from its treasures, foods, and views since time began on this earth. Unlike many things, nature can be a common ground for any person anywhere, regardless of time period or era. Nature has numerous health benefits, particularly health benefits that are physical and social.
Nature has physical benefits.
One way physical health benefits manifest themselves is in the brain. People report reduced depression and anxiety after being in nature for one hour. Nature has a way of bringing people back to their roots. They see the ground beneath them, the sky above them. They see animals scurrying around on the ground, climbing up trees, or flying in the sky. The sounds and smells overcome a nature-lover in a pool or jovial ecstasy and release them from their former worries. The feel of the bark on trees, the softness of leaves, and the dirt on the ground brings people back to a primordial understanding of their origins. All of these sensory experiences work together to bring a person outside to a feeling of home, peace, and gratitude for the simple things. People are often drawn away from their technological devices and spend time being present in the moment when outside. This helps the brain practice concentration skills without distraction, increasing brain activity and our abilities to focus. This is especially important in the highly distractible, digital age we live in.
When people are outside, they often do not stay sedentary for too long. The activities that one can participate in, while outside, are endless. They can do something simple like play lawn games or they could even cross country ski across a vast terrain. The activities may take place under the ground in caves, such like spelunking, or underwater. They make take place on the ground, such like playing a pickup sports game. They can even take place in the air, such like skydiving.
These experiences, although not all exercises, keep a person moving, increasing the likelihood of aerobic and anaerobic activity occurring, improving their overall health with each passing day.
Nature has social benefits.
Many hikers will go hiking alone, but some go in groups. Outdoor activities often openly invite numerous participants to get involved. Whether you are in the water, underground, on the ground, or in the air, such like in the previous examples, there is always an opportunity for “just one more” person to get involved. Nature provides an appropriate and thoroughly enjoyable experience for people of all ages, cultures, and backgrounds. Most people can enjoy some form of outdoor activity, and these situations truly level the ground for all those involved.
What ways have you seen nature benefit you? Tweet me @JasonDrewelow to continue the conversation!