We always hear chitter chatter on the great benefits of going out for a stroll in a local park, or a nature walk, and of course, the veritable hiking trip. But what exactly is the point? What benefits do we gain? Well, I have dedicated this article to answering these common questions. The following are the top nine reasons to go for a nature walk.
1. It puts you in a good mood!
Going for a simple walk in my local park in the early morning hours to hear the melodious sing-song of birds and breathe in the fresh, natural smell of green is personally the most calming thing I could do on any day. It relieves anxiety, and grogginess; and leaves one feeling unencumbered and relaxed. A study on the benefits of walking, had participants take a survey on what they experienced when they took walks outside. The survey results revealed a whopping 95% claimed that they had a positive mood after taking a walk outside!
2. You age gracefully
Photo by Katarzyna Grabowska on Unsplash
Going for a walk outside is an anti-aging medicine, our heart rate slows down and you feel more alive. The combined fresh air and exercise keeps your body active; which may help prevent your body from contracting disease. It could also help mitigate pains associated with old age.
3. You value the environment
Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash
Daily (or weekly) walks in the outdoors creates a special bond between the walker and their environment. You becomes more aware of their ecological footprint. And an effort is made to reduce the level of one’s carbon footprint. For example, by recycling more often or reconsidering transportation to a more eco-friendly option, such as cycling.
4. Vitamin D intake increases
The ultraviolet rays emitted from the Sun interact with human skin to synthesize calciferol, more commonly known as Vitamin D. The more time someone spends in the outdoors, the greater their exposure to the Sun’s UV rays and therefore the greater their vitamin D intake. And the healthier they become as Vitamin D aids in bone absorption of calcium and phosphorous – which are two very important elements for the human body!
5. Better short term memory
A study conducted in 2018 demonstrated that roughly 14% of the short-term memory in 28 participants improved after just spending 5 minutes outside. Short-term memory is defined by psychologists “as the human capacity for storing a small amount of information in an active, readily available state for a short duration”. An example of your short-term memory is remembering what you had for lunch yesterday.
6. Boosts the economy
Photo by Napendra Singh on Unsplash
Walking benefits the body physiologically and psychologically. A healthy individual has reduced chances of catching an illness, which lessens the burden on medical care – saving the government a great amount of money. To give you an idea, the U.S. is ranked as highest spending nation on health care, tolling a colossal 4.3 trillion dollars every year!
7. Foolproof immunity
A nature walk increases the intake of fresh air, which plays an important role in the production of white blood cells. White blood cells are part of the immune system, that fights infections and other ailments.
8. Unlimited energy
Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
Bountiful energy is to be found when finished with a walk, you just feel energized and ready to go. The reason is, your brain is relaxed and oxygenated because of the fresh air and the increased heart rate which pumps more blood into your brain.
9. Makes you reflect
When walking underneath trees that surround you, mountains that tower above you, and the expansive sky that is our plafond. You stop and ponder, how did this great creation came to be? It shows you the power of Allah almighty and how this couldn’t have come by chance, and that there is a creator.
I hope you learnt something new about the many benefits of going for a walk in your local city park, nature trail or national park. What are you waiting for? Turn off this screen and go out for a stroll! Till next time As-salāmu ʿalaykum!
(Thank you Yusuf.A for taking the time to edit and clear my post of any errors.)
Abdurrahman is a wildlife fanatic who absolutely loves nature and the outdoors, he is regularly birdwatching and photographing wildlife. If you can’t find him birding or crouching behind a patch of reeds taking photos of waders, you will probably find him trail-running or cycling in the closest national park.