Feeling blue? You're not alone - nearly 23% of Canadians report a 'high degree' of life stress! An increasing body of evidence suggests that one of the best ways to improve your mental well- being is by simply spending more time in nature. Many recent studies have proven that exposure to nature has the ability to reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression, and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Some researchers at England's University of Essex have even suggested that a daily walk in the park could be as effective in treating mild to moderate cases of depression as taking an antidepressant.
Compared to an urban setting, walking in nature has been shown to reduce anger, improve positive affect, and lower blood pressure
Regular use of natural areas for physical activity can reduce the risk of mental health problems by 50%; being active in natural settings even once a week might prove protective
The benefits of walking of running in a natural setting compared to indoors include: greater sense of revitalization and positive engagement, decreased tension, confusion, anger, and depression, increased energy, and a greater intent to repeat the activity.
Did you know that doctors have been prescribing hikes? Stepping into nature has been proven to provide health benefits such as: increased energy and immunity, increased weight loss and fitness, increased Vitamin D production, and reduced risk of diabetes, heart attacks, and cancer.