We all know that eating right and exercise are great for our health. What many people don’t realize is how beneficial it can be to spend just a few minutes each day in nature.
The great thing is that our bodies react well to even the tiniest green space. You don’t have to go on a pilgrimage to the Great Redwood Forest (though I’m sure it’s beautiful and you would love it). Just find a courtyard with some grass and flowers and trees. In my opinion, the effects are nearly instant.
1. Being in nature improves memory and focus.
In our society we often spend extended periods of our day focused on technology and the tasks of our job or school work. Our minds can become tired and stressed which slows down and clutters the thinking process.
If you find that you just can’t come up with the solution to the problem in front of you, try going outdoors for 10 minutes. Sit or walk. Be still or move. Do whatever you enjoy. How you spend your time doesn’t seem to matter.
What the research shows is important is that your outdoor time be in a place with a lot of plants and the ability to see the sky. Something about the grass under your feet and the big open space above you literally changes your brain chemistry and restores a fresh outlook.
2. Trees will massage your headaches away.
Everything in the universe vibrates constantly and subtly. In his book, “Blinded by Science,” Matthew Silverstone suggests that the vibrations given off by trees can alleviate the symptoms of headaches. It may sound like Voodoo but the research done on the subject supports his theory very strongly. If you have been concentrating for hours and you feel a headache coming on go outdoors and sit as close as possible to a tree for a few minutes.
In my experiences, you’ll find yourself feeling better almost immediately. The effects are much faster than over the counter medications and far more affordable as well!
3. Touching the earth will help you sleep at night and lower your blood pressure.
In 2010 Martin Zucker, Clint Ober and Dr. Stephen Sinatra, MD wrote a book called, “Earthing.” They looked around and realized that it was not only possible but likely that a person in modern day America could go for days, even years, without ever actually touching the earth.
We are indoors for most of our lives. When we go out we wear rubber-soled shoes that insulate our feet from the ground and we walk on paths made of poured concrete. The researchers believes that humans are meant to be in contact with the electrical currents of the earth’s surface and being overly isolated from that flow can be harmful.
The health of various individuals was studied before and after a brief period of time touching the ground. What they found was that by just walking in the grass in your bare feet or sitting on the ground with your hands on the earth for a little while you can actually change the viscosity of your blood. Thinner blood flows more freely, reducing blood pressure and providing a whole host of health benefits. Those involved in the study also reported sleeping better and waking more refreshed.
4. Letting the sun warm your skin is good for your heart, bones and immune system.
I wouldn’t suggest a whole day on the beach in July without sunscreen. However, just 10 minutes of summer sunshine can help the body generate as much as 10,000 IUs of vitamin D! Vitamin D helps prevent osteoporosis, heart disease, certain types of cancer, over-active immunity and more.
Spring is here and the season of gorgeous weather is gaining momentum. Why not make today the day you step outside and enjoy a breath of fresh air? Every part of your body will benefit!
Welcome the warm weather with some more Fitness articles:
Elizabeth Comiskey has a true passion to care for the planet, promote world peace and raise her children to be productive citizens. She’s also a normal working mom – exhausted and constantly pressed for time – so she seeks out the most efficient possible ways to do these things. Lazy Hippie Mama was born of her certainty that she couldn’t possibly be the only one who cares a great deal about improving the world around her and connecting with others in meaningful, inspiring ways but lacking in time and energy. Visit her blog or join her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.