Life for many of us can be hectic. We rush from our homes to our jobs and back again, constantly under pressure. We can feel the tension of our day-to-day existence throughout our bodies, often with stiffness and pain. Perhaps we have trouble sleeping. Our diets may suffer from our busy schedules. Our lifestyles are having an effect on our health. Globally we are seeing an increase in chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. But what if there was a simple, drug-free way to reduce our stress and improve our health? one that didn’t need to involve strenuous exercise? There is, and Nkanyi House can be the ideal place to achieve it.
A growing number of studies showing health benefits to spending time in nature. Last year, researchers in the UK looked at over 140 studies on the health effects of being exposed to greenspace. The results are impressive. The researchers concluded that simply spending time around nature is associated with a number of health benefits. These include a reduction in cortisol production (a hormone that can be related to stress), reduced heart rate and blood pressure. Other studies have looked at improved immune systems and attention.
We know that air quality is often much improved in nature compared to urban settings, but there are plenty of other benefits as well. Social connections have long been liked to improved health. We often have more time to connect with our loved ones or meet new friends when we are spending time in nature, as the pace of life slows down.
If you do choose to go for a walk, or engage any form of exercise, the health benefits are increased if you do so in nature, rather than a more urban environment. So, your morning walk make be even more beneficial if you do it in a natural setting. We are also more likely to be physically active if we have access to trails, trees and clean air.
Of course, this seems like common sense to many of us. I know I can feel the tension in my body disappearing almost as soon as I turn up the driveway to Nkanyi House. I sleep better in the South African bush. Mornings spent with a cup of tea, watching the birds in the bird bath allow me to start my day relaxed and happy.
Our often-urban lives are taking us further away from nature. We sit in front of computers, drive cars or take busy transit. Most of us spend far more time indoors than our parents or grandparents did. As a result, we are losing our connection to the natural world around us. So, wherever you are, try getting outdoors as much as possible. We are always happy to help you achieve this with a stay at Nkanyi House.
Frumkin, H., Bratman, G. N., Breslow, S. J., Cochran, B., Kahn, P. H., Jr., Lawler, J. J., ... Wood, S. A. (2017). Nature contact and human health: A research agenda. Environmental Health Perspectives, 125(7), 075001-1.
Twohig-Bennett, C. and Jones, A. (2018). The health benefits of the great outdoors: A systematic review and meta-analysis of greenspace exposure and health outcomes. Environmental Research, 166 (2018) 628-237.