Doctors Tell Us How Hiking Can Change Our Brains - Deepstash

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Doctors Tell Us How Hiking Can Change Our Brains

https://www.lifehack.org/363786/doctors-agree-hiking-good-for-your-mental-health

lifehack.org

Doctors Tell Us How Hiking Can Change Our Brains
Study after study shows there are many mental health benefits to spending time hiking in nature.

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Hiking in nature and mental health

Our world is becoming more and more urban and urbanization is linked to depression and other forms of mental illness. Visibly, simply removing us from an urban environment to spend time outdoors where there are fewer mental stressors, less noise, and fewer distractions can be advantageous for our mental health.

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Nature prescriptions

Doctors are starting to write “nature prescriptions” or recommending “ecotherapy” to reduce anxiety, improve stress levels, and to curb depression. Plus, nature prescriptions are becoming more accepted by traditional health care providers as more research shows the benefits of exercising and spending time in nature.

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Getting started with hiking

Hiking is one of the easiest and least-expensive sports to get involved in, and it’s fun and beneficial for the whole family. If you’re just getting started, don’t plan a Colorado 14er or to hike the Appalachian Trail. You can start small. Check out local short hiking trails and work your way up to a safe and comfortable distance. 

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Sit by the Water

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Just like being in nature is good for heal...

Seaside Therapy

Seaside living generally has more sunlight and less pollution, promoting better health and more of vitamin D to the people living there.

People who are living near the sea also are more likely to spend time outdoors in some activity or exercise.

Restorative effect of Water

Water has a psychologically restorative effect on humans. It reduces negative mood and stress at a better rate than being in green spaces(nature).

Vitamin D and sunshine

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Vitamin D supplementation

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A number of researchers now argue that people with high vitamin D levels are healthy not because of the vitamin, but because they get plenty of exposure to the sun. Vitamin D is just a marker of that fact.

Sunlight is good for you

A dermatologist discovered our skin uses sunlight to make nitric oxide, a molecule in the body that dilates blood vessels and lowers blood pressure.

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Attention = Focusing + Ignoring

Paying attention involves two separate distinct brain functions: 

  1. “enhancement” - our ability to focus on things that matter) 
  2. “suppression” - our ability to ...

Suppressing distraction gets harder with age

Our ability to filter out distractions, not our concentration, diminishes with age. 

As we grow older we get more and more distracted. 

Less visual clutter to eliminate distractions

When your eyes are closed, your brain isn’t working as hard to filter out visual information. So: 

  • Use one screen, one browser window, and one computer program at a time.
  • Keep your physical and virtual desktop tidy.