No Neuroscientist Ever Topped this Advice From Mom

Oct 02, 2023 2 Min Read
young people running outdoors, city runners
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Cartoon image is from freepik.com by @macrovector

'Green Exercise' Can Improve Your Mood, Boost Creativity, and Enhance Overall Well-Being

Remember mom's advice for boredom and bad behaviour? "Go outside and play!"

Mom was right. Brain science confirms this sound advice. 

When we spend too much time indoors we can develop NDD - nature deficit disorder.

(Sometimes referred to as "indoor disease".)

John Ratey states, “At every level, from the microcellular to the psychological, exercise not only wards off the ill effects of chronic stress; it can also reverse them. Studies show that if researchers exercise rats that have been chronically stressed, that activity makes the hippocampus grow back to its pre-shriveled state. The mechanisms by which exercise changes how we think and feel are so much more effective than donuts, medicines, and wine. When you say you feel less stressed out after you go for a swim, or even a fast walk, you are.”

And, when we combine exercise with nature the benefits are squared! 

It seems many of us spend too much time indoors with artificial light, screens, and constant distractions.

It's no wonder we sometimes feel like we are losing our minds.

You may like this: Exercise and Movement for Health, Wellness, and Great Work

Consider these benefits* of "green exercise" :

  • lower blood pressure
  • lower heart rate
  • better mood
  • increased creativity
  • better ideas
  • more serotonin and dopamine (happy chemicals)
  • lower cortisol (stress hormones)
  • less neuro-inflammation
  • prevent and delay dementia
  • happier thoughts
  • feeling more positive
  • better sleep

More movement outdoors in nature is just good medicine.

Read more: The Magic of 10 at 10

If  you enjoy going to the gym, great! Why not add a couple of outdoor activities a week?

"The Nature Effect" is real. So go.
 

This article was first published on terrysmall.com

To read more interesting facts about the brain by Terry Small, please click here

This article is also available in Chinese.

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Edited by: Kiran Tuljaram

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Tags: Wellness, Brain Bulletin

References:

* Source: Your Brain on Nature, Eva Selhub and Alan Logan

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Terry Small is a brain expert who resides in Canada and believes that anyone can learn how to learn easier, better, and faster; and that learning to learn is the most important skill a person can acquire.
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