Improving health and preventing common issues can be accomplished using many strategies. Walking is a simple way to improve your health and daily performance. It offers a wide range of benefits to the body and the brain.
But research shows that walking in nature may be better at giving you as much benefit from physical activity as possible. It improves physiological function while reducing the symptoms associated with mental health issues.
Why Walking is More Important Than Ever
More people are living in urban settings. Big cities increase the prevalence of depression, anxiety, and chronic stress. Left unaddressed, these often lead to more serious issues.
Today, over half of the world’s population lives in cities and other urban areas. Researchers expect this number to rise, which will bring higher rates of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and other diseases.
Walking in nature allows you to reduce your exposure to common stressors while giving your body the boost it needs to stay healthy all year long. This infographic from Physiomed serves as a valuable resource for improving your health through walking.
Walking Supports Brain Health
People who walk in natural settings experience a decrease in blood flow to the subgenual prefrontal cortex. This is the area of the brain associated with mental illness.
For those who experience negative thoughts on a regular basis, nature walking can reduce the frequency of these thoughts and feelings of anxiety.
Memory and other cognitive functions are also improved through walking as well as the reduction in cortisol and other stress hormones. This supports the health of your immune, digestive, and reproductive systems.
Walking enhances the functions of the parasympathetic nervous system, which include the activities that support rest and recovery.
Creating Long-Term Health With Nature Walking
Walking in nature helps you manage your weight by improving the regulation of blood sugar. You’ll reduce unwanted food cravings as well as the obesity-promoting genes that contribute to weight gain.
Walking more than 7 hours each week may reduce the risk of breast cancer in women. It can also provide relief from joint pain and prevent osteoarthritis.
Spending more time in nature supports the health of the body and mind while helping you achieve greater vitality.