Why 30 minutes of nature a day is so good for your health? What is the importance of nature walk?
“I want to get fit, but I don’t want to pay for expensive gym memberships.” “I don’t want to lift weights.” “Exercising is always too complicated, it’s just not for me.” “I always see people road running or exploring nature, what’s that all about?” Why are nature walks important?
If you’ve ever had any of these thoughts, you came to the right place. Did you know that outdoor walks are the cheapest and most readily available form of physical activity worldwide? Getting outdoors is important.
So if you want to find an easier way to get (and stay) in shape. Or if you are curious about starting 30-minute walks. Then keep reading. Here is everything you need to know about the benefits of getting outdoors.
What’s a nature walk? What is the meaning of nature walk?
A nature walk is just one of many outdoor physical activities. It is a way of exploring nature while also getting in your daily needed exercise. Nature walks are filled with many benefits and are readily available to most people.
This can include hiking a mountain, jogging by the beach, walking in the forest, or strolling in a public garden. Basically, any form of cardio activity that is done outside with exposure to fresh air, sunlight, and/or trees.
If you live in Ireland just like me and you wish to start exploring nature walks, then check out this list of over 85 best hikes and walk spots in Ireland: https://www.theirishroadtrip.com/walks-in-ireland/
Why are nature walks good for you? Why walking in nature is good for you.
What are the benefits that humans can get from healthy forest? What are the benefits of interacting with nature?
As a qualified Nutritional Therapist, I walk in the forest very often. It’s one of my favourite ways to stay in shape. While also bonding with my dog and household. Plus, there is the added benefit of clearing my mind!
My favourite thing about nature walks is that everything is free! You don’t need a membership, fancy gym equipment, or any knowledge of the sport. All you need is good shoes and a safe scenic route to get started. Keep reading for some more benefits of nature walks.
What are the benefits of outdoor activities? What are benefits of being outdoors?
Why is it important to spend time outdoors? Is walking outside good for you?
As mentioned above, nature walks are just one of many outdoor activities. If you aren’t the biggest fan of trees and forests, there are plenty of other ways to be active outdoors. This can range from cycling all the way to working out in a calisthenics park.
The benefits of all these activities are endless. Just to name a few, it is super important for both childhood development and the elderly. As your body goes through changes over time, walking helps with blood flow, muscle strength, heart strength, cognitive performance, and memory.
It is also very important to get out of your 4 walls and away from your daily screen exposure. Humans weren’t made to spend 24/7 behind screens. We are part of nature, So it is important for us to get outside to become one with who we were created to be.
What are the benefits of fresh air and sunshine?
The most important part of nature or any outdoor activity is the exposure to 2 things: fresh air and sunshine. This is a duo that only outdoors can provide. Being cooped up in your house, office, in transportation, and indoor recreational activities do not provide this. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of fresh air and sunshine.
Why is sunlight important? Why does sunlight make me happy?
Below is a list of reasons why sunlight is important:
- Sunlight can kill bacteria.
- A healthy dose can reduce the risk of cancer growth.
- It improves sleep.
- Can contribute to bone strength.
- Reduces blood pressure.
- Promotes good mental health.
- Produces Vitamin D.
- Increases energy levels.
- Improves mood.
- Increase in serotonin.
- Reduces depression symptoms.
The sun gives plants the energy they need to grow and photosynthesize. This creation of plants sustains our life, food, oxygen, and carbon dioxide cycles. Try to get sunlight exposure as much as you can.
A key tip is to avoid direct sunlight from 12 pm-3 pm. This is usually when the sun is the brightest and highest in the sky in the summer months especially. Try to get early morning sunlight or late afternoon sunlight.
An easy way to do this is to grab your favourite beverage, a good book, and sit in the sunlight. Fit this into your routine and watch how your health and mood improve. Watching the sunset or sunrise is both a good view and good for your health!
Why does fresh air make you feel better? Why do we need clean and fresh air? Why is it important to get fresh air everyday?
Here are the top benefits of getting fresh air daily:
- Helps with digestion.
- Improves blood pressure.
- Improves heart rate.
- Benefits the immune system.
- Fresh recycled oxygen.
- More oxygen stimulates serotonin.
- Improves mood.
- Improves white blood cells functioning.
- Kills off bacteria and germs.
- More energy to your brain.
- Cleanses your lungs.
- Release airborne toxins from the body.
- Improves concentration.
- Stimulates brain health.
Fresh air is one of those underrated essentials. We need it daily. In our high-tech society, most of us aren’t actually getting enough of it. We go from our houses to our cars, straight to our work buildings, and back.
People who work from home have it even worse. This is why it is important to schedule time for fresh air. If you have a busy schedule and “can’t afford to waste time doing nothing outside” then there are a few solutions for you.
You can start by incorporating walking into your routine. Or take your world outside. Set up an eating or reading table in your yard/ on your balcony. Now you can do your normal daily activities-but in the fresh air.
If you’re interested in learning what will happen to your body if you don’t get sunlight and fresh air then read up on it here: https://hellogiggles.com/lifestyle/what-happens-to-your-body-when-you-dont-get-enough-sunlight/
What are the benefits of walking in nature? Benefits of walks in nature. What are the benefits of nature? What are the benefits of walking in the forest?
30 powerful benefits of walking mindfully in nature. 30 benefits of the nature walks. What are thirty health benefits of being in nature?
Here is an easy list of 30 powerful benefits of nature walks:
- It is relaxing.
- Outdoor walks improve your sports performance.
- Surrounding yourself with natural beauty.
- It boosts your brain performance.
- Reduces stress.
- Decrease the risk of heart disease.
- Helps you to get in shape.
- Aids in weight loss.
- Vitamin D exposure.
- Exposure to natural air.
- Cheapest physical activity.
- Easily accessible.
- Does not require specific equipment.
- It is good for all ages.
- Decreases symptoms of depression.
- Eases anxiety.
- A natural mood booster.
- Fresh recycled air.
- It restores memory and attention.
- Can reduce the risk of developing dementia.
- Can boost creative problem-solving skills.
- Nature is a great inspiration for creative people.
- It creates everlasting memories.
- A bonding opportunity with pets and loved ones.
- It is a natural appetite suppressant.
- It strengthens your immune system.
- Improves digestion.
- It enhances the quality of your sleep.
- A great way to take a break from your 9-5 lifestyle.
- Improves your cognitive thinking.
This is just my personal top 30. However, the list is definitely endless. Getting in nature and spending outdoors might just be the one thing you’re needing.
Whether you need improvement in your emotional, physical, mental, or social health. Outdoor walks are a great bonding experience and you can meet so many new people on the way. On the other end of the spectrum, it’s a great way to prioritize self-love. Here you can process your thoughts, make sense of your emotions and get much-needed “me time.”
Benefits of walking In nature. Health benefits of nature walks.
As a professional in the health and wellness industry, I like to focus on 5 main aspects of life. These are:
- Benefits for gut health
- Benefits for physical health
- Benefits for mental health
- Benefits for brain health
- Benefits for immune health
When you do something and it benefits these 5 aspects of life, then you’ve found your way to holistic health. Which is an overall balance that all humans need. To start a holistic journey, try daily nature walks.
Outdoor exercise activities and nature walks can bring your gut, physical state, mental wellness, brain health, and immune health in perfect shape. Are you wondering how this is possible? Continue reading to learn about each in more detail.
1. Nature walks: Benefits for gut health
Does walking improve gut? Is walking good for gut bacteria?
As a gut health expert, I’m constantly seeking effective and sustainable ways to improve my gut health. In my practice, I’ve seen long lists of health and lifestyle issues all curable with a simple improvement in gut health.
Nature walks have surely improved my gut health. This is why I recommend it to anybody in need of health advice. The basis is that your gut improves with any physical activity. However, the added benefits of nature for your gut are so much more worth it.
Nature walks calm your nervous system. This in turn promotes a healthy gut. This relaxed state reduces indigestion and bloating.
It also produces a good balance in healthy gut bacteria. This improves your metabolism and leads to overall weight management and protection against obesity.
Nature exposes your gut to a diverse microbiome. This leads to better health and strengthens your immune system. Walking strengthens your digestive tract and line which prevents a leaky gut.
2. Nature walks: Benefits for physical health
How can I heal myself with nature? How do you heal with nature? Healing power of walking.
If you’re looking for a convenient and beautiful way to burn body fat. Then nature walks are your best bet! When you’re exploring the beauty of nature and the scenic views, you barely even realise how much you’re sweating and burning off excess fat.
Walking helps you strengthen your muscles. It also strengthens and develops your bones and joints. It teaches your body endurance. It also improves your cardiovascular health. This is beneficial for your heart and blood circulation.
Walking can also help you prevent physical illnesses like strokes, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and some cancer growths.
Another major benefit of walking for physical health is your increased energy levels. This is especially important for people that have busy schedules or suffer from insomnia.
3. Nature walks: Benefits for mental health
How does nature make you feel? Mental health benefits of walking in nature. What do walks help with mentally?
I think we can all agree our mood weakens when we are stuck indoors too long. It’s even worse if you are stuck indoors with a heavy workload and a full schedule. Being in the same stagnant routine daily can take a toll on your mental health.
This is why nature walks are so important. It exposes you to so many mood boosters. These include sunlight, fresh air, beautiful views, freshwater bodies, and colourful skies.
The fresh air and sunlight raise the serotonin levels in our bodies. It helps with low mental health caused by anxiety and depression. Exposure to nature on top of the exercise you’re getting in the process leaves a happier and healthier you! Walks help you clear your mind in ways that most of your daily activities don’t.
4. Nature walks: Benefits for brain health
Importance of nature walk for students. How does nature affect the brain?
Regular walks in nature can bring about so many positive changes to your body. However, there are also ample benefits for your brain after each step you take outdoors! There’s so much research developing on the benefits of nature walks for brain health.
I can attest that every time I come back from my forest walks I feel ready. Ready to take on any problem and retain details about my clients. These nature walks can help reduce the decline in brain capacity over age. So how does this all really work?
When you walk in nature, your body decreases the blood flow to parts of your brain stimulating mental illnesses. It leaves you thinking clearly. It improves your memory and your cognitive thinking.
It restores your ability to pay attention and concentrate. This reduces stress and vice versa. The beautiful view, the mesmerising sounds from nature, and the fresh air is a combination that will have you feeling better every time.
5. Nature walks: Benefits for immune health
How does walking help your immune system? Does being in nature boost your immune system?
It’s no surprise that exercising is good for your immune system. Surprising though, exercising in nature is even better! How this all works is that when you’re in nature, you’re breathing in fresh recycled oxygen.
The chemicals released in our daily city life can become harmful if there is a build-up in your system. Being able to breathe in clean air is needed to boost your immune system. So try to do this often.
Simultaneously, when you are exercising and exposed to nature, it reduces stress levels in the body. This relaxed state is good for your immune system too. Walking can help you during high flu seasons.
How can I enjoy the beauty of nature? How to enjoy outdoor activities? How do you make a nature walk fun?
You might have reached the end of this article and thought “this sounds great and all, but I don’t have fun outside.” Don’t worry- I have a few more tips and tricks up my sleeves just for you!
Here are some ways to enjoy outdoor exercise activities:
- Choose the right times.
- Variety is key.
- Go with a group.
- Take your household.
- Join a challenge.
- Find your exercise niche.
- Make a bucket list.
- Adjust to the weather.
- Incorporate your daily routine.
Below I’ll discuss each in more detail.
Choose the right times
It is important to choose the ideal time when going for outdoor activities. No one likes to be outside when the sun is super high in the sky or when the wind is driving you off the road.
Choose sunset or sunrise hours. This is when the sky looks the most beautiful, places are often quiet, and the weather is probably at its best.
Variety is key
Don’t limit yourself to the same forest walk route every day. There are so many options in nature. You can alternate between the mountains, parks, beaches, roadsides, forests, lakes/rivers, and open areas.
Go with a group
If you don’t want to commit to nature exercise because you don’t enjoy the concept of being alone. Then go with a group. There are ample groups online that do social walking. Or take a group of friends.
If you don’t necessarily want to interact socially, then find parks and places that people go to and ensure you go during peak hours. This is when you will find the most friendly joggers and walkers along your route so that you don’t feel alone.
Take your household
Again, you don’t have to do this alone. Trust me, your dogs will love your new nature walk routine. Or grab your kids on their bikes and take them. Living with a roommate? Ask them to join. It’s a perfect way to get everyone in the house more active and bonding.
Join a challenge
If you’re afraid you might get bored, here’s a solution! Join a challenge. There are hundreds of walking challenges online. You can also download apps and challenge real-life players.
It can be a challenge like “walk 1000 steps a day” or “reach a certain distance in a short time.” It’s a fun way to compete with other people just like you, a way to get motivated, and avoid getting bored!
To get started, check out this fun 60 seconds outdoor challenge: https://www.youthsporttrust.org/resources/coronavirus-support/60-second-physical-activity-challenges
Find your exercise niche
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’ll say this again. Nature walks are only one of many outdoor activities. There’s a whole planet filled with outdoor spaces you can try!
Join a cycling team, surf club, outdoor football club, outdoor rock climbing, or more. Or just walk down safe open neighbourhoods. Not everyone has access to a forest right by their homes. However, any physical activity that involves fresh air, nature, and sunlight is a must. And it is entirely possible for everyone. Just find the one you like the most!
Make a bucket list
If you enjoy scheduling and to-do lists, this tip is for you! To make outdoor activities more fun, why not create a bucket list for the year? A list of must-do outdoor activities before the end of the year.
On this list, you can write simple things like walking around the block every Sunday. To more adventurous things like exploring the best mountains in my district once a month!
Adjust to the weather
Some people hate being outside away from air conditioning in summers. Others hate walking in the cold during winters. Which one are you?
Either way, adjust to the weather. In some seasons you’ll have to decrease the amount of time you spend outside. In other seasons you’ll have to change your activity. However, both summer and winter offer great possibilities for outdoor fitness!
Incorporate your daily routine
For the busy people that say “I want to be more fit but I have too much to do.” Well, I have a solution for you too! Incorporate your busy routine into your exercise routine.
Walk when you need to run errands, write your assignment outside in the fresh air, and meal prep in advance so that you can work out for 15 minutes at night instead of spending hours cooking dinner.
Do you see how easy it is to make simple adjustments in your busy schedule to better your health and well-being?
25 outdoor exercise activities. What are 25 outdoor activities that will build fitness?
What are some outdoor exercise? What are some outdoor cardio activities?
25 outdoor activities you can try in 2022:
- Road running
- Forest walks
- Outdoor skipping
- Gardening/ yard work
- Mountain hiking
- Outdoor swimming
- Beach runs
- Neighbourhood jogs
- Park runs
- Calisthenic parks
- Lake swimming
- Beach volleyball
- Trail running
- Other field sports
Do you now realise how endless your options are with the great outdoors? There’s nothing better than grounding yourself in nature (pun intended).
Balance is vital when it comes to physical activity. Once you start implementing outdoor exercise, also make sure you are managing your stress, listening to your body, and eating well to see the best results.
If you need more advice on how to start eating better and feeling better then book a session with me. You might just discover the solution you’ve been seeking your whole life. https://www.healthconcepts.ie/contact-me/