How Nature Improves Your Immunity and Overall Health
There is nothing quite like being in nature to improve your mental and physical health. Not only does spending time in nature improve your physical fitness, but it also has a way of making all of your worries and troubles disappear. If you have ever stepped outside to walk-off your stress, you have experienced nature’s healing powers, firsthand.
Studies show that people who spent much of their childhood in nature exploring and playing have better immune systems and fewer autoimmune diseases than those who spent their days playing indoors or at concrete parks and play areas. To develop healthy immune systems, kids need plenty of exercise, Vitamin D, and exposure to soil. Urbanization has had detrimental effects on our health and wellbeing.
Nature is one of the best medicines against illnesses such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, and others. Not only does being in nature encourage you to be more active, but the soil provides you with vitamins, minerals, and beneficial microbiology or microbes, making your body be better able to fight off illnesses and infections.
It all starts with the soil…
Nature Makes Time Stands Still
Have you ever come inside after working in your garden, taking a hike, or completing yard work only to be surprised at how many hours had passed, even though it felt like you had just started whatever called upon you to be outside?
When you are out in nature, there are no clocks to watch, no schedules to keep track of, and time simply becomes irrelevant. Being in nature reduces stress and allows your mind and body to relax, which in and of itself improves your immunity.
Nature improves Your Physical Health
Spending time in nature just makes you feel better. Even if you do not immediately see results, your body is thanking you. Breathing in clean air, allowing beneficial microbes to enter into your body by way of having a connection with the soil, and providing you with exercise and more energy. Who does not step outside and instantly feel the urge to take a walk or bend down to investigate the plants and flowers all around them? Your body may even compel you to start digging around in the soil so that it can absorb all of Mother Earth’s nutrients. Your body knows what it needs to be healthy, even when your mind does not.
Being in nature not only strengthens and tones your muscles but can help you work on your balance and flexibility as well. Spend some time exploring the world around you by taking a hike in the woods, roaming through the meadows, strolling a sandy beach, rock hounding in the desert, or planting a garden in your back yard. If you do not have a yard, a container garden on your deck will do. Not only does being in nature make you more physically fit, but soil also helps to improve the texture of your skin and hair.
Nature improves Your Mental Health
Feeling angry, anxious, or depressed? Take a walk outside among the trees, plants, and flowers and feel all of your negative emotions melt away. Nature is soothing and you do not need to spend much time outdoors to reap the benefits and relieve much of the stress that ails you.
Plan to spend at least 10 minutes of your day outside on a walk or sitting in a natural setting to benefit from nature’s mood-enhancing abilities. Nature appeals to all of your senses, providing you with beautiful scenery gaze at, fragrant…and mostly pleasant scents to breathe in, rhythmic sounds of songbirds to listen to, and even the occasional plant, berry, or mushroom that is worth stopping for to take a taste.
Getting out into nature is important for your mental health, especially during the short, dreary days of winter when your vitamin D levels tend to drop due to a lack of natural sunlight.
Rearrange Your Busy Schedule to Spend a Little More Time in Nature
Between shuffling kids around, working, and tending to all of the other things that life throws your way, it can be a real challenge to find time to spend time in nature. Although it may seem impossible at first, commit to “unplugging” for a couple of hours, for a day, or better yet, an entire weekend, and get outside.
During the week, find a way to work some nature time into your schedule each day. Whether you step outside to run your hands and feet through the soil or sit under a tree to read or simply do nothing and contemplate the landscape for a few minutes, commit to spending some quality time outside with Mother Nature. You will feel better, and your health and immunity will improve as a result.
Improve your overall health and wellbeing by spending as much time outdoors as you can. If you have children at home, encourage them to do the same as their future health and immunity are depending on it. The soil, along with all other elements of nature have healing powers for the mind, body, and soul that you will not find anywhere else.