How to Improve Brain Health
Imagine if you could significantly improve the health of your brain through an activity that you could do every day?
Well, it turns out, a walk in nature may soothe the mind and, in the process, change the workings of our brain in ways that improve our mental health. This isn’t just something that can appeal to those who suffer from mental health, rather something that everyone should be benefiting from.
Most of us today around the world, especially in western countries, live in cities and spend far less time outside in green, natural spaces than people have done in the past. We also spend unprecedented time in front of computers, TVs and smart phones. This change in behaviour is having an effect on our mental health, whether we acknowledge it or not.
Recent studies have shown that those living in cities also have a higher risk of anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses than people living in more rural areas. There can be many reasons for this, however, the lack of natural space is certainly a contributing factor.
This was illustrated at a study at Stanford University where students who walked through a very green part of campus, full of trees and natural spaces, appeared more attentive and happier.
In other words, the new research provides a new kind of evidence that is not only consistent with — but also strengthens — the growing body of research on the benefits of nature exposure.
The underlying thought that it captures is pretty simple. Spending time outdoors, in nature, is good for you. This isn’t new information yet people still don’t find time to get their daily dose of nature. The reality is, this is negatively affecting us.
Being healthy and fit is heavily associated with diet and exercise, but let’s not forget about other factors like natural environment. Happiness and lower anxiety levels is something we would all love to have so why not help your brain by giving it what it wants – exposure to nature.
You could also easily incorporate this ideology with your regular fitness workouts by taking your training outdoors a few times a week. A new wave of fitness, such as Crossfit and Tough Mudder, have embraced the outdoors and shown how training in nature can be a lot more fun and rewarding.
So what are you waiting for – lace up those trainers and hit the great outdoors!