It’s no secret that getting outdoors and spending time in nature can be beneficial to our mental and physical health. So, what exactly are the health benefits of being in nature, and how does it improve our wellbeing?

In this blog post, we’ll explore the health benefits of being in nature, and discuss ten main ways that natural environments can improve our health. Plus, we’ll share some bonus benefits of nature.

the health benefits of being in nature, how nature effects our mental and physical health, and ways to get outside in nature more. #nature #healthbenefits

From a boost in Vitamin D to a decrease in stress levels, being in nature can have a positive impact on our overall health.

Let’s take a look at how we can reap the health benefits of being in nature!

Before we get started, grab your FREE 55 Home Remedies Guide to Natural Wellness.

Health Benefits of Being in Nature

the health benefits of being in nature, how nature effects our mental and physical health, and ways to get outside in nature more. #nature #healthbenefits

The health benefits of being in nature have been studied for a long time. Fortunately, they are proven in many different ways with a growing body of research.

The natural world has been used for its health benefits for centuries, starting in Chinese medicine with the use of what they call “forest bathing.”

Forest bathing is just sitting or walking through the forest or even looking at a tree line or other natural settings from afar.

Here are some of the biggest benefits of being in nature. 

Boosts Immunity

One of the most notable health benefits of being in nature is its ability to boost your immunity.

Being in nature exposes you to a range of bacteria and microorganisms that help strengthen your immune system.

Research has found that people who spend time in forests have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Furthermore, they have increased production of natural killer cells, which help fight off viruses and cancer cells.

In fact, one study found that people who spend more time in nature have a 30% increase in their immune system’s natural killer cell activity. Imagine that – getting healthy just from being out in natural spaces.

the health benefits of being in nature, how nature effects our mental and physical health, and ways to get outside in nature more. #nature #healthbenefits

Not only does being in nature expose you to helpful microorganisms, but it also reduces exposure to harmful pollutants and chemicals found in urban environments.

Fresh air, natural light, and clean water are all important components to building a healthy immune system.

Plus, the outdoor exercise that comes with being in nature can also help strengthen your immune system. Afterall, we now know movement has been shown to boost immune function.

Lowers Stress Levels

One of the most significant health benefits of spending time in nature is its ability to lower stress levels.

Studies have shown that outdoor time in natural environments can help reduce cortisol levels, the hormone associated with stress.

One study conducted by researchers at the University of Colorado found that people who went on a 3-day camping trip had lower levels of cortisol compared to those who stayed at home.

Studies in Japan have found that spending time in forests can significantly reduce stress levels, lower heart rate and blood pressure, and even improve concentration.

the health benefits of being in nature, how nature effects our mental and physical health, and ways to get outside in nature more. #nature #healthbenefits

It’s no secret that being in nature can help us feel calmer and more relaxed.

Whether it’s taking a walk in the park, sitting by a lake, or hiking in the mountains, the beauty and tranquility of nature have a profound impact on our mental well-being.

When we’re surrounded by trees, birds, and other natural elements, our bodies can enter a state of relaxation that’s hard to achieve in urban environments.

Nature provides a break from the constant noise, traffic, and other stressors that can trigger our fight-or-flight response.

Instead, we allow ourselves to be immersed in the soothing sounds and sights of nature, which can help us feel more peaceful and centered.

Reduces Anxiety

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s no surprise that anxiety has become a common mental health condition. But did you know that spending time in nature can help alleviate the symptoms of anxiety?

Research has shown that being in nature has a calming effect on the mind and body, reducing feelings of anxiety.

In fact, a study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology found that even just a 20-minute walk in nature can significantly reduce levels of cortisol, which can create anxiety.

Plus, being in nature helps us to shift our focus away from the source of our anxiety, whether it’s work, family, or other stressors.

This shift in attention can help reduce thoughts that we just can’t seem to kick and provide a much-needed mental break.

Nature also has a restorative effect on the mind and body, which is important for those experiencing anxiety.

By immersing ourselves in nature, we give our bodies a chance to recharge and recover from the physical and emotional toll that anxiety can take.

Helps Fight Depression

Depression is a common mental health disorder these days that affects millions of people worldwide.

While there are different treatments available, being in nature has been shown to be an effective way to fight depression.

Spending time in nature has a calming effect on the mind, reducing feelings of anxiety and sadness.

Exposure to sunlight also increases serotonin levels, which is a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating mood, sleep, and appetite.

the health benefits of being in nature, how nature effects our mental and physical health, and ways to get outside in nature more. #nature #healthbenefits

Serotonin deficiencies are linked to depression, which is why sunlight exposure is really important for alleviating depressive symptoms.

Plus, being in nature encourages physical activity, which releases endorphins, also known as “feel-good” hormones.

Endorphins are responsible for reducing pain and improving mood. Regular exercise has been shown to be an effective way to fight depression.

Being in nature offers a change of scenery and perspective. This shift can help us focus on positive experiences and thoughts, reducing negative thinking patterns associated with depression.

Increases Energy Levels

If you’re feeling sluggish or unmotivated, spending time in nature might just be the pick-me-up you need.

Research has shown that spending time in green spaces can increase energy levels and reduce fatigue. The same study we mentioned earlier found that just 20 minutes in nature can significantly boost energy levels.

So how does being in nature increase energy levels?

One theory is that exposure to natural light helps regulate our circadian rhythm, which in turn affects our sleep-wake cycle and energy levels.

Additionally, being in nature can provide a change of scenery and a break from the demands and stressors of daily life, which can help recharge our batteries and improve our mood.

So if you’re feeling sluggish or in need of a boost, try spending some time in a park, hiking trail, or even just a tree-lined street. 

the health benefits of being in nature, how nature effects our mental and physical health, and ways to get outside in nature more. #nature #healthbenefits

Improves Sleep

Have you ever noticed that you sleep better after spending time outside in the great outdoors? That’s because exposure to natural sunlight during the day helps regulate our sleep-wake cycles. This makes us feel more alert during the day and more tired at night for better sleep quality.

Plus, the fresh air and exercise we get from being outdoors can also promote better sleep.

Spending time in nature can increase the amount of time we spend in deep, restorative sleep.. This will then decrease the amount of time we spend awake during the night.

Meaning when we wake up, we feel more refreshed and ready to take on the day.

free-home-remedies-for-wellness-pin-2.jpg

Reduces Chronic Pain

Living with chronic pain can be debilitating and seriously impact your daily life.

While medication and other forms of treatment can help manage pain, spending time in nature has also been shown to reduce chronic pain levels.

Spending time in green spaces can alleviate chronic pain symptoms, because nature has a calming effect on the nervous system, which can help reduce pain levels.

Plus, being in nature can provide opportunities for gentle exercise with outdoor activities. For example, walking or swimming can help improve mobility and reduce pain and stiffness in affected areas.

Incorporating nature into your pain management routine can be as simple as taking a walk in the park, practicing yoga outside, or even just sitting in your backyard and enjoying the sounds of nature. 

Alleviates symptoms of ADD/ADHD

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are two common conditions that affect children and adults alike.

Some symptoms of these disorders are difficulty paying attention, hyperactivity, impulsiveness, and disorganization.

Spending time in nature can help alleviate the symptoms of ADD/ADHD.

Being outdoors has a calming effect on the brain, and it allows individuals to disconnect from the constant stimulation of modern technology.

Activities in nature can promote mindfulness and help individuals focus on the present moment and lengthening their attention span.

These activities can include hiking, gardening, camping, fishing, and even simply walking in a park.

The natural beauty and peacefulness of scenes of nature can also reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, as we talked about above, which are often associated with ADD/ADHD.

Nature-based therapies like wilderness therapy and ecotherapy have been found to be effective treatments for ADD/ADHD.

These therapies incorporate activities and experiences in nature as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for overall better health, mentally and physically. 

Increases Creativity

Do you feel stuck in a creative rut? Spending time in nature could be the answer.

Being surrounded by natural beauty has been shown to enhance creativity and problem-solving abilities.

Researchers have found that exposure to natural environments can stimulate brain activity and increase cognitive function. This then allows for more creative and original thinking.

Studies have also shown that being in nature can help reduce mental fatigue, which can hinder creativity.

the health benefits of being in nature, how nature effects our mental and physical health, and ways to get outside in nature more. #nature #healthbenefits

A walk in the woods or a hike in the mountains can help clear your mind and boost your creative energy.

Plus, nature provides a wealth of inspiration for artists, writers, and musicians.

From the patterns in tree bark to the colors of a sunset, the natural world offers an endless source of creative inspiration from a strong connection with nature.

Promotes Positive Social Interactions

Being in nature doesn’t just improve our physical health, it also benefits our social health.

Research shows that spending time in nature promotes positive social interactions with others.

In fact, studies have found that just five minutes of exposure to nature can significantly increase our sense of social connection and generosity toward others.

One of the reasons being in nature promotes positive social interactions is because it helps to reduce stress and anxiety. These are two of the biggest barriers to forming strong relationships.

When we feel calm and relaxed, we are more likely to be open to new experiences and meeting new people.

Spending time in nature encourages us to be present and mindful, which helps us to fully engage with others in conversation and activities.

the health benefits of being in nature, how nature effects our mental and physical health, and ways to get outside in nature more. #nature #healthbenefits

Another reason being in nature promotes positive social interactions is that it provides us with opportunities for shared experiences.

Whether it’s hiking a trail with friends, camping with family, or going on a nature walk with a romantic partner, spending time in nature allows us to connect with others in meaningful ways.

By sharing these experiences, we strengthen our bonds and deepen our relationships.

Nature also provides a space for community building.

Public parks and natural areas often host events and activities that bring people together.

Group hikes, picnics, and volunteer clean-up efforts are some of the best ways to create positive emotions around community building.

These events not only help us to meet new people, but they also provide us with a sense of belonging and purpose within our communities.

More Health Benefits of Being in Nature

the health benefits of being in nature, how nature effects our mental and physical health, and ways to get outside in nature more. #nature #healthbenefits

On top of the ten ways being in nature improves your health that we just listed above, there are actually countless more benefits to spending time in nature.

Here are a few additional health benefits:

Improves cardiovascular health 

Studies have found that being in nature can lower blood pressure, decrease the risk of heart disease, and improve overall cardiovascular health.

Boosts cognitive function

Spending time in nature has been shown to improve memory, concentration, and problem-solving skills. It can also help prevent age-related cognitive decline.

Reduces inflammation

Chronic inflammation has been linked to a range of health issues, from arthritis to cancer. Being in nature can reduce inflammation in the body and promote overall wellness.

Increases Vitamin D levels

Sun exposure is important for our bodies to produce Vitamin D, which plays a crucial role in bone health, immune function, and mood regulation. Spending time in nature is a great way to get more Vitamin D.

Improves digestion

Studies have found that being in nature can improve digestion and decrease the risk of gastrointestinal disorders.

Boosts self-esteem 

Being in nature has been shown to boost self-esteem and improve feelings of self-worth. This can have a positive impact on overall mental health.

Ways to Spend More Time in Nature

the health benefits of being in nature, how nature effects our mental and physical health, and ways to get outside in nature more. #nature #healthbenefits

Spending time in nature has lots of benefits for our physical and mental health. But with busy work schedules and other commitments, it can be difficult to find time to get outside and enjoy the natural world.

Here are some easy ways to incorporate more time in nature into your daily routine:

Take a walk: 

This is a simple and effective way to get some fresh air and enjoy the beauty of nature. You can even make it a social activity by inviting a friend or loved one to join you.

Go for a hike: 

If you’re feeling adventurous, hiking is a great way to explore nature while also getting some exercise.

There are many trails and parks to choose from, so do some research to find a location that suits your interests and skill level.

Practice yoga outdoors: 

Yoga is a great way to relieve stress and improve flexibility, and practicing it outside can enhance the experience. Find a peaceful spot in nature and roll out your yoga mat.

the health benefits of being in nature, how nature effects our mental and physical health, and ways to get outside in nature more. #nature #healthbenefits

Plant a garden: 

Gardening is a fun and rewarding way to connect with nature. Whether you have a large outdoor space or just a few pots on a balcony, planting and caring for plants can be a great way to relax and de-stress.

Don’t know where to start, grab our free step-by-step guide to building a raised garden bed.

Try a new outdoor activity: 

There are countless outdoor activities to choose from, including biking, kayaking, and bird-watching. Trying something new can be a great way to shake up your routine and experience the benefits of nature in a new way.

Eat lunch outside at work: 

Many people spend their entire work days indoors. When you can, take your lunch break outside in the grass.

For even better results, take off your shoes and do some grounding while you’re at it. You can eat other meals outside as well when the weather permits.

Get morning sun:

Sit in the morning sun and enjoy your morning drink out on a deck or have a picnic in your yard. 

No matter how you choose to spend your time in nature, it’s important to make it a regular part of your routine.

By taking care of your physical and mental health, you’ll be better equipped to handle life’s challenges and enjoy the beauty of the world around you.

Conclusion: Health Benefits of Nature

the health benefits of being in nature, how nature effects our mental and physical health, and ways to get outside in nature more. #nature #healthbenefits

There are so many benefits of spending time in nature. From improving physical health to enhancing mental wellbeing, spending time outdoors has been shown to positively impact our bodies and minds.

The good news is that even small doses of nature can have a big impact. Don’t feel like you have to go on a multi-day wilderness adventure to reap the benefits.

Even if you only have five minutes, you have enough time to get outside now and then!

A simple walk in a local park or sitting under a tree in your backyard can do wonders.

Make it a habit to incorporate nature into your daily routine, and you’ll likely start seeing the benefits in no time.

Get outside, breathe in the fresh air, and enjoy the healing power of nature.

Before you go, here are more posts you’ll enjoy:

FREE 55 Home Remedies Guide to Natural Wellness

15 National Road Trip Ideas

7 Perfect Hiking Date Ideas

Smoky Mountain Hikes by Difficulty

Best Parks in Asheville, NC

Health Benefits of Being in Nature