“Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean”.
― John Muir
Contact with nature soothes our body and mind. It doesn't really matter if it's the mountains you hike in, the sea you enjoy swimming in or just a city park you walk in. Appreciating the greenness of trees, breathing fresh air and admiring great colours of nature will always do you good.
Famous painter Claude Monet once said: “The richness I achieve comes from Nature, the source of my inspiration". In fact, lots of poets and artists looked for inspiration in nature - they had already known what scientists have proven recently - that contact with nature does wonders both to your mind and body.
So, let's have a look at the basic reasons to stay close to nature:
1. Nature heals our body
Did you know that only 30 minutes per week spent close to nature decreases risk of high blood pressure by 9%? (that would explain why my blood pressure is so low ). Spending time outside reduces our stress and drives down level of cytokines - proteins which indicate there's inflammation in your body. And you want your cytokines low - lots of these proteins sign illnesses such as diabetes, heart diseases, arthritis and even Alzheimer's disease.
Also, spending time outside increases production of vitamin D - this one is extremely important for our wellbeing - vitamin D boosts our immune system, protects from bone problems and diabetes. Also, being outside helps improve our sight and lowers risk of short-sightedness.
The added bonus is energy boost - spending time outside increases our levels of vitality - when we're close to nature our senses awake. We're surrounded by plants and their colours, smells and sounds - we feel life all around us. The result is that we feel more alive ourselves!
Last but not least, body acidification. I bet you've already heard about it. Shortly speaking, it takes away our health. It's caused by alcohol, sugar, coffee, dairy, white bread and meat - everything which 21st century people consume in large quantities. And do you know what's the best to restore your alkalinity? It's physical exercises done outside. Nothing will improve your health so comprehensively as mountain hiking, swimming in the sea or just walking in the park.
2. Nature heals our mind
Nature + exercise = endorphins = improved mood. This simple equation will solve a lot of your problems.
There's nothing better for troubled mind than contact with nature. Nature activates our senses - we become mindful, focused and, most importantly, calm. Try getting for a walk for an hour and see how your mind becomes clearer, your thoughts slow down and muscle tension goes away.
Being surrounded by trees, looking at flowing clouds, listening to chirping birds, observing colourful fish, touching soft grass, smelling scented flowers - it brings peace of mind and favours meditation.
3. Nature improves our relationship with people
Families which spend time outdoors are happier! Contact with nature strengthens our social bonds and makes us less irritable. This affects our relationship with other people. Outdoor picnic or walk in the forest will improve contact with the others and create positive strong bond. Simply, nature makes us more open to other people. This is impossible to get via social media - Skype or Faceebook messenger won't make your relations so close as spending time outdoors doing interesting things.
Also, scientists found out that nature reduces ADHD symptoms in children which simply means the youngsters become happier, less stressed and calmer in the park rather than indoors. Of course, they have much more fun running in the park rather than strolling from room to room in a flat.
Interestingly, I've noticed that hiking in the mountains make people especially close - a special bond is created. In fact, people whom I hiked with remain my closest friends.
So, if you feel the need to get outside, don't wait, go! Your body knows what's good for it. And let's treat Nature as an essential vitamin. Vitamin which heals many health problems.
So, let's have a lot of vitamin N today, shall we?