Spending time in nature can help in improving health, finds a new study
- People who spend more time in nature are likely to get better sleep
- They experience fewer physical symptoms of stress
- Spending time in nature can help in uplifting mood
Nature works like magic! It can make you feel positive and relaxed. Now, researchers have found that spending time in green outdoors can help in uplifting your mood and bring a significant improvement in your health as well. The study, led by Dr. Caoimhe Twohig-Bennett of Norwich Medical School, found that being exposed to green spaces can reduce risks of conditions like type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, and even pre-term birth. The team of researchers came to this conclusion after analyzing as many as 140 studies from across the world in order to determine if time spent outdoors can really benefit the health in all aspects. Green spaces in the study have been referred to both open rural lands as well as parkland in cities and urban areas. The study, published in journal Environmental Research, helped in discovering that people who live near green spaces are likely to get better sleep and experience fewer physical symptoms of stress. But researchers are still exploring the long-term well-being of spending time in nature.
This is probably the reason why something like forest bathing is a popular therapy in Japan. It is a practice which involves participants spending time in the forest by either lying down or simply walking around in the lap of nature.
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For now, there is a lot of research which testifies the health benefits of being in nature. But researchers don't know as to why it is so relaxing and how it heals humans. Experts believe that people who live in greener areas have more opportunities for physical activity and socializing. Moreover, one gets exposed to diverse variety of bacteria when living close to nature. This can benefit immune system and also reduce inflammation in the body.
Spending time in a green environment can reduce risk of diabetes
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While more research is needed for confirming nature's role in aiding good health, this study will be a motivating factor for many people to step out and spend some time in the open.
Our expert Dr Sarthak Bakshi agrees and says that spending time in nature can actually be beneficial for health. "There is no second thought about this. The flow of oxygen becomes better in the body when you spend more time amidst nature. It helps in improving the circulatory system. All human beings work on the basis of oxygen making capacity of the body. Living in a pollution-free environment can be beneficial for health," he says.
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We ask him what he does to spend time in nature and he says, "Early morning is the best time during which you should spend time in nature. This can be from 5 am to 7 am, for instance. This is the time when the brain is most active. Flow of oxygen is great at that time. You should walk bare foot on grass. Any such similar activity can improve blood circulation and brain function. It helps one think more productively."
Spending time in nature helps in improving brain function
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When all these things happen, conditions like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or any other heart problem can significantly improve. "Spending time in a green environment can increase the longevity of human beings," he says while suggest people to spend more time in green environments.
(Dr Saarthak Bakshi is Delhi-based health expert and CEO of International Fertility Centre)
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.