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Take a walk with Mother Nature and enjoy some measurable benefits

by Margery Gass | Nov 05, 2013
You know how good it feels to take a walk. Scientific research suggests even more benefit from walking in the woods or a park. It can make you healthier.

Part of the benefit is stress reduction: Walking in a forest or park can lower pulse rate, blood pressure, and levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Plants also emit chemicals called phytoncides that protect them from rotting and insects, and recent Japanese studies showed that when people breathe in phytoncides, they experience increased immune function — higher levels of white blood cells and natural killer cells that help to protect our health. As American naturalist John Muir wrote, “Keep close to Nature’s heart…and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.”


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