When we look for ways to stay healthy when we are older, we often think about quantifiable things, like getting the right amounts of vitamins and minerals or exercising a certain number of hours every week.
However, apart from those mentioned above, there are other simple actions we can take to stay physically and mentally fit, such as being in a natural environment. Read on to find out the benefits associated with spending time in nature.
Having an unhealthy level of stress has been known to lead to multiple health conditions such as depression and anxiety. In old age, our body is less able to cope and deal with stress as effectively as before. As such, older adults who face high levels of stress need to find suitable avenues to destress and keep themselves sharp and active. One simple step they can take to reduce stress is by spending time with nature.
Spending time in nature has been known to help us improve our moods, relieve tension, and reduce feelings of stress and depression. This is especially true for those of us who spend most of our time cooped up indoors. A study conducted by researchers from the University of Michigan found that going for walks in natural environments is directly linked to significantly lowered levels of perceived stress and depression. In a separate study done globally, it is highly suggested that those who spend more time with nature tend to have a lower heart rate and a healthier blood pressure as compared to those that don’t spend time with nature. As such, not only can spending time in nature help to reduce stress, but it may also aid in preventing conditions like stroke.
Enhancing Cognitive Ability
Cognitive stimulation is especially important for the elderly. A lack of cognitive stimulation is known to be responsible for a decline in cognitive abilities, possibly resulting in conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Going out and spending time with mother nature helps older adults to stay alert and even improves their memories. In a study also conducted by the University of Michigan, results showed that spending just an hour in natural environments can improve the attention span and memory performance of people by as much as 20 percent. The benefits we get from spending time in nature are very similar to meditation, essentially allowing the brain to recharge.
Boosting Immune System
As we grow older, our immune system will undoubtedly be weakened as well. Studies have shown that spending time with nature can help to boost the immune system so that we can better fight against invasive diseases. By going for walks in nature, we are exposed to fresh air from plants that enable our bodies to produce more white blood cells responsible for combating viruses and inflammation.
Lead an Active and Healthy Life at Discovery Village At The Forum
If you want to be physically active during your golden years, join us at Discovery Village At The Forum. You will find many lifestyle programs and an array of lifestyle options to choose from. Contact us for more information.