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Health + WellbeingThe Balanced Brief

Wednesday Wellbeing: Spending time in nature

 

  1. Time in nature improves your health & wellbeing by Zoe

 

I’ve talked about this topic on my social media before but as I’ve just finished reading some new research I thought it would make a timely share for this week’s post!

 

How often do you spend time in nature? How do you feel after? Do you notice a change in your mood or state of mind? I walk my beagles each day and always notice the impact particularly if my mind is full or I have a lot on. So, it makes logical sense the latest research supports a positive connection between nature and health and wellbeing. The study recommends 120 minutes a week in nature to gain the benefits. The research featured in the Scientific Reports, also goes some way to affirming that it doesn’t matter how the 120 minutes are made up across the average week. The time can be accumulated or it can happen in one ‘hit.’ The crucial factor is that it happens.

 

So how can you get your weekly ‘nature’ fix?

These activities can take place in your leisure time, on your way to work, in your lunch hour, on your way home, during the evening, depending on the seasons or during a work break.

 

  • Sitting or simply ‘just being’ on a bench / picnic blanket in a park or green space and taking in the nature around you.

 

  • Doing some form of physical activity in the local park or a green open space. This can include a work out, playing football, tennis, jogging, running, taking the dog for a walk, cycling, powerwalking, Park Run or joining a Bootcamp group.

 

  • Taking a walk or bike ride along a beach, river, coastal path, through woodland, a forest or across farmland, a National Park or local green common area.
  • Meditating or practising yoga, Thai Chi or mindfulness in an outdoor ‘green’ space.
  • Making a date to meet friends at a park, gardens, forest or the beach.
  • Sketching, drawing, reading, writing or listening to music in a natural setting.
  • If you don’t have a dog, sign up to Borrow my Doggie to you can book in a regular weekly session or two.
  • Make it a priority to go and check out new parks or green spaces
  • Eat your lunch outside solo or with friends or arrange a picnic in an open space. Play rounders or have a kick about after or play hide and seek in the trees
  • Indulge in some forest bathing and really notice the trees around you and the energy they carry! Indulge in the odd tree hug ….

 

Commit to a weekly practice for a month and see if you can notice the benefits. These may include increased mental clarity, decrease in anxiety, reduction in stress levels, subjective increase in health and wellbeing and better sleep.

 

Interested in the research, read it here:  https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-44097-3.pdf

Zoe breathing in the beauty of nature