Taking nature walks can give you a real boost physically, spiritually, and emotionally, with lasting effects throughout your day and week.
I’m a nature enthusiast and walker, but that wasn’t always the case. Back in the day, I enjoyed walking and knew a walk outdoors was good for me physically. However, aside from this general appreciation I really didn’t dig beneath the surface and connect deeper meaning and learning from my outdoor walks.
I didn’t give much attention or thought other than it felt good to be outdoors getting a much-needed break from my role as a full-time mom of four young sons. (Yes, I was a stroller Strides mom as well!)
About five years ago, a significant emotional and physical shift occurred in my outdoor walks. I made an agreement with myself that a daily outdoor walk for my body, mind, and spirit was non-negotiable for my wellbeing.
What I discovered as I took to the paths, hiking trails and scenic places was a real soul awakening. There is so much more to being outdoors than first meets the eye! I learned how to be in and look at nature with a new perspective.
I learned how to be still and observe local wildlife such as my favorite birds (cardinals and bluebirds!). By listening, I learned their specific bird calls and in the stillness of listening, I received a soothing inner calm which quieted my overactive mind!
Take a walk through the fascinating facts below and notice what piques your interest. Take action right now by lacing up your shoes or hiking boots and getting outside!
Here are 5 Fascinating Facts about Nature Walks:
Walking outdoors in nature restores mental energy.
You know that feeling when your brain seems to be stuck in a whirlwind of nonstop thoughts, a.k.a. “mental fatigue”? One thing that can help you re-center and refocus your mind is exposing it to “restorative environments.” Research has shown that a major way you can help your mind get back into gear is by exposing it to the restorative environments in nature.
A nature walk in an area designated as an “energy vortex” will literally give you physical energy and may even be healing.
Vortexes (or vortices) are found at sacred sites throughout the world, the Great Pyramid in Egypt, Machu Picchu in Peru, Bali, Stonehenge, Uluru/Ayers Rock in Australia; Sedona, Arizona. Both in ancient and modern times, people have recognized and experienced a sense of well-being, relaxation, physical and emotional energy flow, tranquility, etc., while in these sites.
Walking outdoors puts you in touch with your creator.
Being present outdoors, especially when seasons change, points us to something greater than our individual selves. The colors, scents, animals, all living synergistically together is nothing short of awe-inspiring!
Nature is a natural stress reliever.
One study found that students who stayed in the forest for two nights had lower levels of cortisol, a hormone often used as a marker for stress, than those who spent that time in the city. Among office workers, even the view of nature outside a window is associated with lower stress and higher job satisfaction. Nature nurtures your body in a healing way which reduces stress!
Walking outdoors and being in nature has a possible anti-cancer effect.
Research on this connection is still in its earliest phases, but studies have suggested that spending time in nature, forests, in particular, may stimulate the production of anti-cancer proteins in your immune system. The boosted levels of these proteins may last up to seven days after a relaxing nature walk.
Now get moving with these fascinating facts!
Take a walk or hike in the great outdoors and enjoy being one with Mother Nature. All you need is yourself, and an open mind and heart to reap the fascinating benefits from our great Mother Earth.
Here’s to you!