Nature is more than just a habitat for life. The natural world offers immense benefits for the overall health and well-being of its habits. Studies have found that exposure to nature contributes to one’s physical and mental well-being, respiratory health boosts immunity, and helps to de-stress among other benefits.
Improves mental health: The natural world has been found to offer opportunities for mental and emotional refuge. When one needs to unwind and recharge, watching the greenery sway with the wind or listening to sounds such as birdsong or waterfall could do a lot of good. Nature has a significant soothing attraction for one’s senses. For instance, the perfume of flowers can hold one’s attention without draining mental energy. Spending time in nature has been shown to help ease stress thereby allowing for a more relaxed and focused mind.
Helps to breathe well: Exposure to nature has also been linked to an improved respiratory health. Spending more time in natural green spaces could help get fresher, and cleaner air for breathing. Air pollution on the other hand can trigger asthma, allergies, and other respiratory diseases. A study conducted in 2016 examined the relationship between local greenery and mortality risk amongst 108,630 women for 8 years. Compared to people with the least greenery in their neighborhoods, people with the most greenery were 34 percent less likely to die from respiratory diseases (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov). The study, therefore, concluded that nature aids better breathing and reduces the risk of respiratory concerns.
Immune health: Getting vitamin D from the sun is both essential for bone health, blood cells as well as the immune system. Many plants release substances including organic compounds called phytoncides into the air that tends to boost immune function. Sunlight also helps to energize special cells in the immune system called T cells. T cells are a type of white blood cell that form part of the immune system and develop from stem cells in the bone marrow. T cells help to protect the body from infection and may help fight cancer.
Improves Sleep: Outdoor time in the sun helps to get the body’s internal clock working right. Research suggests that early morning sunlight absorbed by the eyes helps people get good sleep at night. This is partly because the sunlight helps to balance one’s energy use and sleep. One’s body clock may change with age. Older people have been found less able to absorb light through the eyes. Therefore, such people are more likely to have problems with sleep.
Aids weight loss: Spending time in nature, such as outdoor exercise could help one to burn calories. Experts advise a 20–30-minute exercise between 8 a.m. and 12:00 noon to make a significant difference. However, getting outside in the morning, in particular, may help to get rid of a lot of fat. The earlier one gets to exercise, the better it works.
Taking some time from being indoors into the natural environment is as healthy as it is fun. Being present in nature, with all of its sights, smells, and textures appear to influence physical and emotional wellness. Also, exposure to nature at night can create a sense of awe and connection with the world. The drop in noise and light can also help one to focus on the world more easily.
Information from www.webmd.com/balance/ss/slideshow-health-benefits-nature www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-devon-60840759, www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-terms/def/t-cell, www.healthline.com/health/health-benefits-of-being-outdoors was used in this story