Spending More Time Outdoors Can Improve Your Memory

In this modern age when people spend most of their time working in front of computers and then bask in the glow of their tablets and television screens once they get home, health experts emphasize the importance of getting outdoors and spending time with nature. So get a collapsible shelter from a trusted tent manufacturer in the Philippines and enjoy the benefits of the outdoors.

Researchers have found numerous reasons why it is essential to spend time in the forest, hike in the mountains, and just being outside to enjoy the natural world. Recent studies even showed these activities do not only help with a person’s physical well-being. They also help improve mental health.

Nature Walks Have Cognitive Effects

In one study, researchers gave a brief memory test to students of the University of Michigan students and then divided the participants into two groups. The students in the first group walked around an arboretum, an area where trees are grown for educational, research and conservation purposes. Those in the second group took a walk down a city street.

The participants then retook the same memory test. Researchers found that those who walked among trees saw a 20 percent improvement in their score, while those who walked in the city did not have consistent score improvement.

Commenting on the result of the experiment, study researcher Marc Berman said that interacting with nature might provide similar effects as meditating. He also noted that the findings have important implications for people who suffer from mental fatigue.

Spending Time Outdoors Can Reduce Anxiety and Depression

Many studies have also shown a link between time spent in nature and reduced levels of anxiety, stress, and depression.

In a recent study, researchers compared the brain activity of people after they walked for 90 minutes in an urban area or a natural setting. They learned that people who had nature walks had less activity in the prefrontal cortex, a region in the brain that tends to be active during rumination marked by repetitive thoughts that focus on negative emotions.

According to Dr. Jason Strauss, the director of geriatric psychiatry at Harvard-affiliated Cambridge Health Alliance, the visual aspects of nature may also have a soothing effect. Focusing on trees and greenery, for example, can distract your mind from negative thoughts, so you become less worried.

Forest Walks Can Affect Cortisol Levels

Couple on a nature hike on top of a cliff overlooking a vast forest

Researchers have also found that people who take forest walks experience a 12.4 percent reduction in the level of cortisol, a hormone linked to stress. The activity also decreases heart rate by 5.8 percent. This means nature walks may work like anxiety medicine but without the high costs.

Going back to nature and being among trees can be beneficial for those who suffer from poor mental health. In the end, if you are battling with depression or stress or aiming to improve your memory,  you should make spending time outdoors a part of your daily routine. Set a special time when you can go camping with your family.