As I write this week’s column, I’m just back from a walk at Moore Hall. It’s a while since I’ve been on a nature walk and it was long overdue! I know it’s good for me, I know that I have a clearer body and mind after it. I simply allowed life to get in the way! Walking in nature is a fantastic way to mind your mind.
Walking in nature helps improve short-term memory. A research study gave participants a memory test before and after a walk. They found that participants who had walked among trees did almost 20% percent better than the first time.
Other studies have shown that walks in nature help reduce inflammation. Inflammation is a natural process the body uses to respond to threats like damage (e.g., a stubbed toe) and pathogens (e.g., exposure to the flu). In one study, elderly patients who had been sent on a weeklong trip into the forest showed reduced signs of inflammation as well as some indications that the woodsy jaunt had a positive effect on their hypertension.
Walking in nature can help improve concentration. In one study, researchers worked to deplete participants' ability to focus. Then some took a walk in nature, some took a walk through the city, and the rest just relaxed. When they returned, the nature group scored the best on a proofreading task.
For stress management and mental health contact Tracy from Relax From Stress Holistic Centre on 086-2202734 or visit www.relaxfromstress.ie.
Published in the Connaught Telegraph on 19 September 2017.
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