Who doesn’t remember their parents telling them, “Go play outside!” While this might have been for reasons
other than health and exercise, as usual, your mom was right. One of the easiest and least expensive ways to
increase health and well-being is literally right outside.
According to the National Forest Service, “A walk in the woods gazing at trees, flowers and, if you’re lucky,
wildlife, can leave you feeling restored and rejuvenated. Although we inherently feel that spending time in
nature is good for us, we may not realize just how good it can be for our health. Forests not only play a major
role in cleaning our air and water, but also provide beneficial changes to the minds and bodies of those who
spend time among the trees.”
The Department of Environmental Conservation lists some of the health benefits
Exposure to forests and trees:
- Boosts the immune system
- Lowers blood pressure
- Reduces stress
- Improves mood
- Increases ability to focus, even in children with ADHD
- Accelerates recovery from surgery or illness
- Increases energy level
- Improves sleep
Don’t have a forest nearby? That’s okay. Gardens, parks, and street trees make up what is called an urban and
community forest. These pockets of greenspace are vitally important because they are the sources of our
daily access to trees.
Of course, for anyone who has allergies to trees or grass or other outdoor elements, you can always take a
refreshing in-home steam shower, which can help alleviate any potential sinus or allergy issues.