To many people, taking a nature walk seems like a intuitive approach to coping with stress. However, there are many distractions in our modern world that simply override our mind and body’s innate wisdom, and not all of us take the time to consider this approach or choose to make the effort. A new, large-scale study may help remind you why to value this simple, yet effective activity of walking outside for better health and quality of life.
Researchers from the U.K. and U.S. monitored nearly 2,000 participants in England’s Walking for Health Program, and found that “group walks in nature were associated with significantly lower depression, perceived stress, and negative affect, as well as enhanced positive affect and mental well-being.”
Despite the daunting weather, winter is perhaps the most important time to brave the cold and get outside. Seasonal affective disorder affects up to 20% of Americans, and going on a nature walk seems simple, but it is a powerful tool to combat the effects of depression and stress. Check out American Hiking Society and Meetup to find hiking groups in your area and get outside!