In his book Easter: McEaster Valley, Author Walter Hoge celebrates the majesty of Mother Earth and the beauty it gives us. Humanity and nature are both connected. This fact can be proven true every time someone gets in touch with nature. They just feel refreshed, no question about it. Whenever a person who is so stressed out from the busy and non-stop hectic life of the city gets out and tries to breathe the natural fresh air of the countryside, the result is often the same. It is refreshing. It is invigorating. More importantly, it is revitalizing. There is a reason why “a breath of fresh air” became an idiom that means new and refreshing.
Now, it would be nice if everyone had the ability to just pack out and take a nature getaway whenever they need it. Unfortunately, not everyone is that lucky. Most people just have too much on their tray to have a long weekend getaway. It sucks too. Not having time to really rest and take a breath of fresh air can really have a negative impact not only on the physical health, but as well as in their mental health.
Not that there is nothing they can do, though. Although it is ideal and recommended to immerse oneself in nature, one does not really need to have such an extensive trip. For busy people, taking a walk in the neighborhood or a walk in the park can be as stimulating as a trek or a mountain climb. It is also much less time-consuming and not to mention much less expensive.
Benefits of Taking a Nature Walk
Nature walks, like a thirty-minute walk in the city’s green area, bring in a lot of health benefits for the body. For a start, the simple act of walking is already a good exercise for the body. Brisk walking for even just thirty minutes a day can increase cardiovascular fitness. The exercise also helps in reducing excess body fat that almost everyone has. Aside from that, it heightens stamina and even muscle endurance.
Now when you couple that with the healing power of nature (and yes, nature has indeed healing powers), then the health benefits just add up. Some studies have shown that taking nature walks speeds up the health recovery process. It also is a factor that reduces blood pressure and lowers the risk of cancer. More importantly, it can lift an individual’s spirit.
Nature walks also affect mental health. Taking long nature walks allows the mind to meditate. Walking can grant an individual the presence of mind as well as a focus on the present moment. The brain becomes much more aware of the surrounding. It stimulates the senses, and as such, it allows for a deeper appreciation of the present. Oftentimes, this can translate into an appreciation of life. It is a good small way to combat depression and burnout. Though in the case of depression, a good psychiatrist is still irreplaceable, so it is still best to ask for help.
Lastly, nature walks have the ability to foster appreciation and recognition of the surroundings, both tangible and intangible. The meditative effects that nature walks not only improve mental health. It also allows time to breathe and look at the big picture. By looking at this perspective, one begins to grow an appreciation of all the opportunities as well as experiences that surround the individual. With this new perspective, one’s courage to face the every day can be renewed and rekindled, just like what is found in Walter Hoge’s book.
A walk in the park can provide a lot of benefits. It heals and improves the body bit by bit. It allows for a time to meditate. Lastly, it grants an appreciation of the things surrounding oneself. One who develops an appreciation of nature by taking daily nature walks allows in them an appreciation of life in general, resulting in a happy and fulfilling life.
More information about Walter Hoge’s book Easter: McEaster Valley can be found by visiting the author’s website. You can also buy it there as well as on Amazon.com.