Better mental and physical well-being is just a stroll in a park away, says study

Choose parks over gyms if you want better results when it comes to your mental and physical health.
Staying connected with nature means staying connected to yourself. Image courtesy: Shutterstock.
PTI Updated: 17 May 2021, 03:28 pm IST
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Before you opt for a swanky gym or yoga centre that has all the right gears and air-conditioning, give this article a read because it turns out that outdoor activities will reap better results. 

We know you know that but you must be thinking that in this pollution this might lead to more problems. Not an issue, if you live in metro then we understand where you are coming from. But we have another solution and i.e. weekly or monthly visits to natural spaces that will help you boost your mind and muscles. Sounds like a plan right? Well, it has other perks too.    

According to a study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, people who make weekly visits to natural spaces are bestowed with both, better physical and mental wellbeing.

Researchers, including those from the University of Plymouth in the UK, also found that people who make nature visits are more likely to behave in ways which promote environmental health, such as recycling and conservation activities.

Healthy you is just a walk away. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Develop pro-environment behaviour by staying connected with it
The study also suggests that reconnecting with nature could be key to achieving synergistic improvements to human and planetary health.

It is the first study to analyse the contribution of both contact of nature and connection to human health, wellbeing and pro-environmental behaviours, the researchers said.

Also, read: Meet Smita Biswas who lives, breathes, and does 100-kilometre walkathons in saris

The team looked at people’s engagement with nature through access to green spaces, nature visits and the extent to which they felt psychologically connected to the natural world.

“In the context of increasing urbanisation, it is important to understand how engagement with our planet’s natural resources relates to human health and behaviour,” said lead author Leanne Martin, from the University of Plymouth.

Martin says:

Our results suggest that physically and psychologically reconnecting with nature can be beneficial for human health and wellbeing, and at the same time encourages individuals to act in ways which protect the health of the planet.

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Take inspiration from the environment and unlock overall well-being for yourself
These findings provide vital new insights of the need to not just increase contact with nature, but about the sorts of experience that really help people build an emotional connection, said Marian Spain, Chief Executive of Natural England, the UK government’s adviser for the natural environment.

“This is key to unlocking health benefits as well as inspiring people to take action to help their environment,” said Spain

So, if you are looking for inner peace and physical pump then nature has the answer to it.

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