If you’re like me and enjoy spending a few hours (or even days) immersed in nature, then you’re likely already aware of the positive health benefits.

However, if you’re deciding to try it out for the first time, here are 6 ways getting outdoors is good for your mental and physical health.

  1. Improves Short-Term Memory

Hikes in nature are proven to improve memory by 20%. While this effect may only be temporary, the results are promising.

With regular hikes in nature, one’s memory improvement would likely be consistent. This is especially helpful for students who need to study for exams.

So, if you ever find yourself overwhelmed, simply take a break and go for a walk in nature. Not only will you feel more relaxed, but your memory will also be improved. This should make it easier for you to retain your work.

2. Reduces Stress

If you’ve ever taken a walk through a wooded area, you can attest to the almost immediate feeling of peace.

Walking through a forest, wooded area or even just a grove of trees, has been said to be the best natural stress-reliever. Taking in the scents, sounds and sights of nature has a way of bringing peace and relaxation to even the most stressed.

You will be able to leave your troubled thoughts behind and enjoy the simple pleasure of nature.

3. Combats Fatigue

While hiking can be a tiring activity, it’s also exhilarating. Even the easiest hike will leave you feeling like you can conquer a mountain.

The reason for this is the adrenalin boost you get from hiking. Coupled with nature’s amazing ability to bring peace to even the most stressed mind, and hiking is a sure way to wake you up and get you ready to face the day.

Need inspiration to get started? Here are some of the best hikes on the planet!

4. Boosts Immune System

Cardiovascular activities have long been known to have a positive effect on the body and mind. Taking a brisk (or even a leisurely) walk through nature is known to improve the benefits of cardio exercise.

Amazingly enough, just spending time in nature is said to reduce inflammation and lower blood pressure. Spending a few days camping or doing a morning hike will have a huge benefit on your health.

5. Combats Depression and Anxiety

Research has discovered that spending time in the sun, exercising and spending time with animals lowers depression and anxiety.

This is because these three activities release serotonin, the pleasure hormone. Spending time in nature has the same effect. However, hiking will have a greater positive effect than simply sitting underneath a tree.

Hiking is a wonderful form of physical activity that combines several depression-reducing things: sun, nature and exercise.

Since nature has already proven to combat fatigue and reduce stress, it’s not such a leap to think that it can also reduce depression and anxiety.

Nature has a way of bringing peace and calm to troubled minds. It also seems to give an extra boost in self-confidence to those suffering from anxiety and depression.  

6. Improves Creativity

Immersing oneself in nature not only improves memory, but also creative thinking.

Is it any wonder that so many paintings feature forests, lakes and the like? Beautiful places have a way of inspiring creativity in even the most analytical minds.

It’s good to remember, however, that nature is not always calm; it can also be destructive. And yet, there is a certain beauty in the violence of a storm, especially one captured on camera or canvas.

Although, creative thinking doesn’t only have to involve art. Problem-solving also requires some creativity, and many successful business individuals tend to go on camping trips or hike regularly.

When faced with a situation that seems too difficult to manoeuvre around, try going for a run, jog or walk through a forest or park. The exercise and positive effects of nature should help you see things from a different perspective.

Getting outdoors has many wonderful positive health benefits. If you’re unsure about your fitness level, start small. Even a stroll through a park will have a noticeable positive effect.

Our site is maintained by a network of expert contributors, many of which guide or have guided treks and climbs around the world. Contributors to the site are volunteers, and are not paid. The current lead editor on the site is Mark Whitman.

Our site is maintained by a network of expert contributors, many of which guide or have guided treks and climbs around the world. Contributors to the site are volunteers, and are not paid. The current lead editor on the site is Mark Whitman.