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Why Trees Are Good For Your Health

Why Trees Are Good For Your Health

We often stroll through a woodland or a forest, totally unaware of the benefits of spending time surrounded by trees. Yes, we’ve also experienced feeling more relaxed within nature. But why?

It’s probably a lot to do with phytoncides. Phytoncides are anti-microbial airborne substances that our leafy friends release to fight off disease.

Invisible to the naked eyes, these ‘medicines’ float around us as we walk. The only clue to their existence is often the smell of these essential oils, particularly obvious around trees such as cedar or pine.

As we walk we inhale these substances which substantially benefit our health. Phytoncides have been shown to:

  • Reduce blood pressure
  • Lower heart rate
  • Reduce stress
  • Reduce anxiety

It’s also well documented that phytoncides cause a significant increase in killer cell activity within the body. Natural killer cells attack infected cells and cancerous tumours to keep us in good health. A week-end spent in the woods can increase this activity for up to 1 month after!

Other studies show that that is a high correlation between the health of people living in an area and the amount of trees that they have nearby.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin compared the health of people living near tress with the health of those living around more concrete. They used satellite images to show how many trees were in particular areas. This combined with research on health in those areas revealed incredible results:

People who were living near trees suffered less stress, anxiety and depression.

Further studies show that when trees are planted or taken away, the health of those living in the area either increases or decreases. Knowing this certainly increased my motivation to spend more time outdoors within nature and I’m pretty sure it’s increasing yours too!

I’d recommend spending as much time as possible surrounded by trees. Why not increase the number of walks that you take through woodlands? For those wanting more of an adventure why not go camping in a forest. Why not try a hammock for maximum phytoncide exposure!

(I’m a huge fan of hammocking, you have got to try it! I recommend this DD hammock: https://amzn.to/2ZQa5Gh)

It’s important to remember that trees are good for our health, BUT they don’t give us what we have never had. We were born with the health that we need but technology and constant fast paced living depletes us.  Spending time within nature simply helps to restore our health to normal levels. Spending time within nature helps us fine our ‘way back home’.

Check out another of my blogs about happiness here: https://www.mariahocking.com/1460-2/

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