Walking regularly has been shown to significantly and positively impact our overall health and well-being. This is especially true when performed in a natural setting. Walking in natural locations such as coastal paths, trails, parks, and other green spaces can improve physical health significantly. It can also improve psychological health significantly. Walking in a natural setting, also known as green exercise, has been shown in studies to improve health. Wear your Apple watch to monitor your exercise and match it with dressy Apple watch bands for men. It improves mental health, reduces stress, and boosts immunity. It can also enhance our ability to concentrate and think clearly. People are more likely to walk and be physically active when there are easily accessible green spaces, according to studies. This is in comparison to exercising in a city setting. Green exercise can thus provide numerous advantages.
Walking can improve mood and mental power
In one study, groups of university students walked through a forest or an urban city landscape. Before and after each of the walks, saliva samples were collected from the students. These samples showed that walking through a forest reduced the level of the body’s stress hormone, cortisol. Compared to walking through a city, this reduction was far more significant.
This study is backed up by another study that looked at electroencephalogram (EEG) readings, which measure brain activity. EEG activity was recorded as subjects walked through a busy commercial area, a shopping district, and a natural green space. Participants’ brain activity while walking revealed a significant reduction in tension and stress. Indeed, walking through a green and natural environment made participants feel calmer and more relaxed, promoting the benefits of green exercise. As a result, it is clear that exposure to nature while walking promotes a lower level of physical and mental stress. This is in comparison to walking in more urban areas.
Following a walk in a natural setting, participants with moderate to severe depression showed a significant improvement in mood and short-term memory. This is in contrast to when they walked through a city. It is worth noting that for children with ADHD, a walk in the park can increase attention span when compared to a walk of equal duration in an urban environment. Nature also helps to promote and stimulate mental acuity. As a result, this can boost creativity and problem-solving abilities.
Choose a natural environment to exercise in
For those looking to start a regular exercise routine, research shows that doing so outside is more likely to stick. According to a study, people who exercise regularly in a natural setting or are interested in pursuing a form of green exercise are more likely to engage in moderate to vigorous activity. On the other hand, those who exercise outside have a greater desire and intent to repeat their activity. This is in contrast to those who use a treadmill to exercise.
It is evident that walking, whether in a natural or urban setting, can provide both physical and mental benefits. However, walking in leafy, green areas and being exposed to nature enhances these benefits even more. Thus, better health may be as simple as a stroll through the park.