The Benefits of Being in Nature

Hello Nature and thank you! 

Today I want to talk to you about the many benefits we can benefit from just by spending a few minutes a day in nature, also known as forest bathing. A few benefits that I would like to make you aware of would be: 

  1. De-stressing and relaxing

  2. Increased energy levels

  3. Immune system boost

  4. Daily dose of Vitamin D

  5. Improved mental health


1. Destressing or relaxing 

If you’re anything like the majority of people in the world, you find yourself really looking forward to the weekend to escape the busy work week to relax, take a load off, recover, rest, destress, and the list goes on. One way that has been proven to help people destress and relax would be getting out into nature. Researchers suggest we spend at least 2 hours a week in nature to combat the daily stresses we encounter during a typical work week. 


2. Increased energy levels

Spending as little as 20 minutes in nature has been shown to increase one’s vitality, boost energy levels and having an increased feeling of being alive. A daily dose of nature might just be the thing we need to tackle a project or give us a little boost to do the things we want to do. 


3. Immune system boost

A study in japan has shown that breathing in the natural organic phytoncides produced by the trees has the ability to increase the function of our immune systems. This increase gives our bodies an increase in what is called natural killers which fights off common illnesses and infections such as the common cold or flu. 




4. Daily dose of vitamin D 

Vitamin D is an essential part of living a healthy life. We obtain the majority of the recommended dose of Vitamin D through exposure to sunlight, more than 90%. You may follow the most ideal nutrition guidelines for your diet but if you’re not getting the necessary amount of sun exposure you will be deficient in Vitamin D.


5. Improved mental health 

Getting out into nature is especially helpful for improving one’s mood and overall mental wellbeing during winter months. This can have a positive effect on people who suffer with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) lessening the effect it can have on a person. So then next time you’re feeling a bit down try getting out in nature. 


In conclusion the health benefits we can obtain for such a short amount of time is well worth the effort of getting out into nature. We would always advise people to try and build this into their weekly routine. There are many ways to do this throughout the week as well. Getting out for a group hike or trail run on the weekends is one great way to reap the benefits of being in nature. Another way would simply be going for a walk through a park or sitting unplugged from any electronic devices such as computers or phones while on lunch or during any other time you may have a break from work. 

If you feel like you could use a bit more nature in your life please contact a staff member for ideas and look out for our next group outing which will be a hike in the Wicklow Mountains in August.





References: 

http://mentalfloss.com/article/70548/11-scientific-benefits-being-outdoors

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/06/190613095227.htm

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-44097-3

http://www.rochester.edu/news/show.php?id=3639

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2793341/