Walking in nature is totally underated. It’s something that is so easy to do, literally a walk in a park, requires so little, and yet it yields so many physical and mental health benefits.
“A walk in the park may soothe the mind and, in the process, change the workings of our brains in ways that improve our mental health, according to an interesting new study of the physical effects on the brain of visiting nature.
Most of us today live in cities and spend far less time outside in green, natural spaces than people did several generations ago.
City dwellers also have a higher risk for anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses than people living outside urban centers, studies show.
These developments seem to be linked to some extent, according to a growing body of research. Various studies have found that urban dwellers with little access to green spaces have a higher incidence of psychological problems than people living near parks and that city dwellers who visit natural environments have lower levels of stress hormones immediately afterward than people who have not recently been outside.”
How Nature Changes The Brain: The New York Times
The amazing thing is that the benefits are not a gradual thing: there’s both immediate and long-term benefits:
“A new study finds that even gentle lunchtime strolls can perceptibly — and immediately — buoy people’s moods and ability to handle stress at work.”
The Benefits of a Lunch Hour Walk: The New York Times
The great thing about Brisbane, and Australia in general, is that it’s so easy to find a green-space to exercise, there are so many on our doorsteps, and they’re so underutilised.
I found it a bit daunting finding out great places to hike around Brisbane when I first starting taking it seriously, so I’ve created some pages on this site with my favourite places to hike:
- Enoggera Resevoir
- Mount Coot-tha Forest
- Mount Gravatt
- Toohey Forest
- White Rock Spring Mountain
- Whites Hill
And don’t forget:
Few people know how to take a walk. The qualifications are endurance, plain clothes, old shoes, an eye for nature, good humor, vast curiosity, good speech, good silence and nothing too much
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson