The Health Benefits of Owning a Pet

The Health Benefits of Owning a Pet

Dogs and cats are more than just furry, four-legged family members (that many of us tend to spoil and treat nearly as if they’re our very own human children). Scientific research has shown that pet ownership is linked to some very interesting and potentially significant physical and psychological benefits that you might not expect.

While playing and cuddling with your cat or pup are obvious and enjoyable ways to strengthen the bond between the two of you, there are even more reasons to appreciate having them in your life. Here are just four amazing ways our pets help us become healthier humans.

Heart Disease Protection

According to the American Heart Association, numerous studies have pointed out that pet owners tend to have a reduced risk of heart disease. One major reason behind this may have to do with regular dog walking, which obviously increases physical activity. Another reason may be that more health conscious people also tend to be pet owners, and since pets provide some degree of social support much like a real family member, they may actually help their owners stick with new healthy habits.

Stress and Anxiety Reduction

Just being in the presence of your beloved pet could help lower your blood pressure. A study involving human-dog interactions showed that both talking to and petting dogs resulted in lower blood pressure levels, with petting appearing to have the greatest effect. There have been similar findings with cats as well. Playing with dogs and cats elevates serotonin and dopamine levels, which are the feel-good hormones that boost our moods and make us feel more relaxed.

Improved Immunity

If you’re a parent, it may be worth giving in to finally getting the puppy that your kids have been pestering you about for weeks or months on end. One study found that infants who were exposed to dogs experienced reduced risks of developing certain allergies. Dogs definitely aren’t the cleanest creatures in the world, but the dirt and allergens they bring in from outside may actually boost their family members’ immune systems. Cats also expose their owners to dander and other allergens, which may help them develop better resistance to allergic reactions.

Longer Lifespan and Enhanced Social Life

A pet can provide a sense of companionship for people who are prone to feelings of loneliness and isolation. People who feel lonely are more likely to suffer from depression, and since owning a pet can keep these negative effects at bay, having to care for one can promote feelings of being needed and wanted, which can help pet owners live happy and longer lives. Likewise, dogs are natural people magnets. Walking out in public with a dog can help almost anyone meet new people in the dog park or on the street as a way to easily spark new relationships.

Pets are pretty great, and in addition to the above benefits, bonding with a living thing that’s far simpler and less judgmental than another human can help us grow our love and appreciation for nature and life itself. Now go give your cat or dog (or maybe even your parakeet or iguana) a big hug to thank them for all that they do for you!


The Healing Potential of Music

The Healing Potential of Music

Music can have some really profound effects on both the mind and body. Given how tightly linked and intertwined it is with our emotions, music can do everything from lift us up and give us more energy, to suppress our mood and even make us cry.

Anyone who appreciates music can use it to heal themselves in certain situations. Instead of turning to food, or television, or some other not-so-healthy form of distraction, try experimenting with listening to certain calming genres of music to relieve stress, promote sleep, and calm your busy mind.

Stress

Music can be used as an instant stress reliever. Research has shown that anything that has a slow tempo (about 60 beats per minute) is what helps the brain sync up the beat so that it produces “alpha brainwaves,” which are known to help reduce depression and boost creativity. In fact, music has even been described by researchers to work as well as medication at altering brain functioning.

Sleep

If music is so effective for relieving stress, then it shouldn't come as a surprise that it can help with sleep too. Findings from psychologist Dave Elliot suggest that the absolute most relaxing music to help people fall asleep has to be 90 beats per minute with a 4/4 beat, involving both piano and strings, and using narrow note sequences that fluctuate between highs and lows.

Meditation

Traditionally, music wasn't used in meditation. It was always done in silence or with whatever subtle background noises could be heard. These days, however, listening to music while meditating can help those who find that their minds tend to wander often or even drift off to sleep. Listening to calming music can be its own form of meditation just by consciously tuning in to the various sounds that make up the entire music listening experience.

Genres to Consider

So, what genres or artists should you listen to when you want to relieve stress, induce sleep, or help with meditation? Well, for starters, consider classical or ambient music with no lyrics. Anything calming that incorporates string instruments, drums, and flutes are ideal. Light jazz and easy listening music may even be appropriate while Native American, Celtic, and Indian music could also be good genre choices.

Music Sources

Besides browsing through the many free music apps there are available these days for mobile devices, you may want to also consider Rainy Mood, which is a free (and rather well known) website that simply plays a never ending track of rainy sound effects. The site makes it possible to listen to a mix of classical music and nature sounds like birds chirping, rain, thunderstorms, or ocean waves. Clicking the link labeled “Today’s Music” combines the sounds with calming music.

Brain.fm is another music service aimed at providing brain stimulating tracks that have been scientifically proven to help people relax and sleep (as well as enhance creativity and boost productivity). Although it’s a premium service that requires a bit of an investment to keep using after the trial period, it may be worth it if you want access to high-quality music specifically designed for healing relaxation.

So grab a pair of earbuds and tune in to some slow tempo, lyric free music. Your brain will thank you for it!


5 Short and Simply Positive Mantras

5 Short and Simply Positive Mantras

Have you ever stopped to wonder what the difference is between an affirmation and a mantra? They're similar, but not quite the same. While an affirmation is known to be a phrase usually spoken in first person and in the present tense about the individual in a way that’s meant to be perceived as true (like “I am enough,” or “I am a money magnet with more money flowing toward me every day), a mantra differs slightly in that it’s a positive statement or sound that an individual can meditate on as it’s repeated silently in the mind – and it doesn't necessarily need to be all about the individual.

Affirmations can often serve as mantras, but rarely does it work when it’s the other way around. Just like asanas are physical postures performed by the body, mantras can be thought of as mental postures performed by the mind. They can be used to help us get clear about what kind of connection and state of mind we want to embody during yoga, meditation, or just any time we’re in need of some extra positivity.

Here are five short and simple mantras you can say to yourself and meditate on whenever you think you could really use a boost in positive self-talk and self-love.

True success comes from learning.

It can be all too easy to get caught up in negative thoughts and emotions associated with our own mistakes and failures when we’re trying to achieve something big. This mantra can help us turn that around by making us become conscious of the fact that every mistake and failure is really just a valuable lesson and an opportunity to become more resilient.

I am imperfectly perfect.

Speaking of getting caught up in the negatives, we often do the same with how we tend to view ourselves as inherently flawed in our physical appearances, our abilities, our behaviors, and other personal attributes. Telling ourselves that we are imperfectly perfect reminds us that when we accept and embrace our “flaws” with love, we move closer toward becoming our most authentic versions.

There is goodness in every person.

It’s easy to resent other people when they do something that we don’t like, but even those who seem cruel, greedy, and insensitive are indeed good on some deeper level. When we remind ourselves that there is goodness in every person, we open ourselves up to the awareness of the possible reasons why a person may be acting in such a way. Recognizing that a person may be suffering and acting out their negative emotions in the process reassures us that it's not personal, making it a lot easier to forgive and forget.

This moment is all that matters right now.

Being present in every situation is something a lot of us struggle with – especially when we’d rather be doing something else. In reality, however, all the thoughts about the past and future are just illusions we create in our minds, robbing us from the present. We can use this mantra whenever we find ourselves getting massively distracted by regretful or anxious thoughts so we can live more in the moment.

The love of the Universe is all around me, all the time.

When things just feel downright awful, this powerful mantra can help bring some much needed light to a very dark state of mind. Instead of allowing our negative thoughts to snowball, we can stop them dead in their tracks by purposefully recognizing the eternal love of the Universe/God to help us cultivate more self-love and faith everything will work out as it's meant to be.

Keep these mantras handy and you'll be mentally well-equipped for taking on life's challenges.

Photo (edited) via Take Back Your Health Conference


Tips for Managing Sweat During Yoga

Tips for Managing Sweat During Yoga

Sweating isn’t just for cardio junkies and weight lifters. Even the fittest individuals can break a sweat after the first few sun salutations of their yoga practice. It’s normal, it's often expected, and it’s good for you!

By sweating it out, your body naturally releases toxins through the skin and cools itself off as you continue to bend, twist, stretch, squeeze, and balance. Completely eliminating sweat isn't always possible unless you're practice mostly involves meditating while not moving, but managing it so that it doesn’t negatively impact performance is always possible if you find yourself slipping and sliding all over your mat.

Whether you’re practicing in a nicely air-conditioned home or a hot yoga studio, there are some good tricks for dealing with excess sweat. Here are some helpful options to consider.

Practice distributing your weight more evenly. Less slippage from sweaty hands and feet will come with experience. As you keep practicing, you’ll continue to get a better feel for how to activate your hands and feet as effectively and firmly as you can while gaining more strength in the arms, shoulders, legs and core to hold yourself in place.

Bring a towel along. A quick wipe of your face, neck, and any other spots that may be dripping with sweat can provide some good relief. Keep it close to your mat so you can grab it fast when you need it.

Get a non-slip mat. For a bit of extra dough, you can get a high-quality yoga mat designed to keep you from slipping in your own sweat. Many non-slip mats are also eco-friendly, which is a huge plus!

Wear comfortable, breathable clothing. If what you’re wearing is getting soaked or constricting you to the point that it’s uncomfortable, then it’s worth splurging on some new outfits. Do some research on brands that sell top quality yoga wear made to stretch and breathe well as you move.

Wear grippable yoga socks and gloves. There are sorts of different socks and gloves available these days made specifically to help yogis get a better grip of their mats. Many styles are also fingerless and toeless, with just the necessary padding for the best support.

Use a fan if you’re practicing at home. If you prefer to practice at home alone, it’s easy enough to invest in a small fan that you can place nearby for some extra airflow. It’ll feel especially nice during those times when you have to hold still and stay balanced.

Get outside for a change. It’s spring, so why not look into joining a yoga class that practices outdoors? A nice breeze will make all the difference in keeping you cool with the added bonus of maintaining presence and connection with nature.

Learn to embrace every bead of sweat. Hey, sweat happens! You might as well get used to it. As you develop your practice and learn to become more aware and accepting of everything that's happening the moment, the sweat won’t bother you as much — if at all.

So what do you think about sweating through yoga? Love it or hate it? It may not be glamorous, and that’s okay. Just breathe, stay present, and keep going.

Photo (edited) via Kullez


The Benefits of Foam Rolling

The Benefits of Foam Rolling

Are you into the foam rolling trend? This growing form of self-guided muscle massaging involves taking a cylindrical piece of equipment made out of foam and using it to roll out your muscles in an effort to relieve tension and tightness from exercise and general stress. Called “self-myofascial release,” it’s the next best thing to a deep tissue massage without actually having to book an appointment with a massage therapist!

Foam rollers come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes — from spiky rumble rollers for serious muscle massaging to compact rollers that are easy to take with you when traveling. The type of foam roller you need depends on what kind of shape your muscles are in and how much pain you can tolerate.

There’s still a lot of research to be done to determine the real effects of foam rolling, but so far, there seems to be some clear benefits. Here’s what you can get out of making foam rolling a habit in your own active lifestyle.

It improves flexibility and relieves muscle soreness. A regular yoga practice is great for increasing flexibility, but foam rolling may help you take your performance to the next level with some of the trickier asanas. Research has shown that foam rolling increases oxygen delivery to the muscles, improves flexibility, and speeds up the recovery process of sore muscles without diminishing athletic performance.

It increases range of motion. Range of motion in joints like the hips, knees, feet, shoulders, elbows and wrists are important in yoga and other forms of exercise to support strength and flexibility. In a study conducted on soccer players who used foam rolling techniques for two minutes on their quadriceps and hamstrings, results showed that they significantly improved their range of motion in the knees and hips.

It prevents injury. Regular exercise naturally causes the muscles to tighten up and develop knots from the repetitive stress they're facing. Taking the time to foam roll those really tight spots makes them less likely to turn into injury trigger spots cramping, shin splints, lower back pain and other types of injuries.

It’s affordable and you can do it almost anywhere. Foam rollers can be purchased for less than $50 and used over and over again. You can spend 2 to 5 minutes rolling out your muscles before or after your regular workout, or you can even do an extra long session for 30 to 45 minutes to work on your toughest spots.

Before you start shopping around for a good foam roller, there’s one unfortunate downside you need to know about. Be prepared to experience a fair bit of pain the first few times you use it — especially if your muscles are super tight and tense. After spending a few days or weeks working out the worst of that tightness, foam rolling should start to mostly feel like it hurts “in a good way” as opposed to continuing to feel nearly torturous.

Foam rolling will definitely compliment your yoga practice or practically any other form of exercise that involves cardio or strength training. Keep it up, and you’ll definitely feel a difference!


Everyday Ways to Help Reduce Plastic Waste

Everyday Ways to Help Reduce Plastic Waste

Plastic is undoubtedly everywhere around us. While we can do our best to recycle what we can, it still takes a lot of energy to turn old plastic into something new, and it's is still a huge problem in terms of contributing to environmental waste.

The worst part about it is that it doesn’t really break down and disappear. Instead, it turns into “plastic dust” or very small bits that animals and aquatic life often mistake for food. And as if that weren't bad enough, all of this plastic that gets tossed away also releases toxins that contaminate soil, water, and the wildlife that ingests it.

It’s about time we all take plastic reduction a little more seriously. Large corporations that sell our favorite products still have a long way to go, but we can all do our personal part by avoiding and reducing plastic use in our everyday lives as much as we can.

Make a promise never to buy bottled water ever again. You can save money, save the planet, and save your health by just saying no to bottled water. Instead, invest in a stainless steel, BPA-free bottle that you can reuse. An even better choices would be a glass bottle if you're careful about breakage.

Shop with reusable grocery bags. Bring your own bags along when you head to the grocery store so you never have use plastic bags, which can take as long as an entire millennium to break down.

Look for cardboard and glass product packaging. It can be nearly impossible to eliminate all plastic from our lives in this day and age, but there certainly are brands out there that can help us along in our effort. Laundry detergents are one example of a product you can find in cardboard boxes.

Buy fresh produce and shop from bulk bins. You can avoid all that unnecessary packaging when you skip the frozen food or otherwise processed stuff so you can make everything yourself from fresh fruits and veggies. Buying from bulk bins also eliminates the need for packaging and gives you the opportunity to use your own refillable bags.

Bring plastic containers back. Some grocery stores and farmers’ markets will take plastic containers back to reuse them for produce like berries and cherry tomatoes. There’s no harm in asking!

Take stock of your kitchen to replace plastic supplies with sustainable ones. It’s time to stop buying resealable baggies, food containers, saran wrap, straws and plastic dishes or utensils in favor of non-plastic food storage and dishware solutions. In many cases, glass containers and jars will get the job done.

Kick your gum chewing habit to the curb. Did you know that gum is really just plastic? Well, now you know! You’re also just much better off avoiding those potentially toxic chemicals hiding in the ingredients that are used to pump up the flavoring anyway.

Do some extra research on your favorite yoga apparel brands. Sadly, most of today’s commercially sold yoga and sportswear products are actually made from plastic. On the bright side, however, there are several brands out there taking the environmentally friendly route by selling yoga apparel made from sustainable materials like organic cotton.

We may not be living in a plastic-free world anytime soon, but if we do our part now, we can make sure future generations won’t have to deal with the harmful and potentially disastrous environmental effects. Just say no to plastic whenever you know there are alternative options out there.


The Divine Within

The Divine Within

Each and every one of us has the ability to access to a higher level of consciousness that can free us from the mental turbulence we’re so used to experiencing in everyday life. A commitment to a persistent yoga practice can harmonize the body, mind and spirit in a way that brings us closer to this divine state of higher consciousness – but only if we're willing to venture past the simple pleasures and delve deeper into ourselves through serious self-exploration.

Those simple pleasures that entice us to start practicing in the first place – like the social component of joining a class, the physical transformations in appearance, or even just the exciting “newness” of getting started – are nice benefits, but they’re not what keep most of us going. The more we develop our practice, the more intrinsic value we get out of it.

When we free ourselves from fixating on external benefits, we grow to start practicing from more of a harmonized body, mind, and spiritual state where self-giving and self-love drive us. All of our most cherished desires can be fulfilled when we pursue them from a state of love. And in order to keep the flow of love and abundance moving, we need to continually both give and receive — to ourselves, to others, and to nature itself.

It’s worth noting that the word “yoga” comes from the Sanskrit root “yuj,” which means “to join.” The ultimate goal of the practice is to join the sense of personal self with the sense of infinite being. Our true nature is pure consciousness, which is the divine and infinite source of everything in the entire universe.

When we say “Namaste” to someone, we’re acknowledging the truth that a divine spirit exists in them the same way it exists in us too. Roughly translated to “I bow to the God within you,” the gesture is meant to unify our spiritual energies as recognition that beneath our egos, we are all infinite beings existing as one in divine consciousness.

Through giving ourselves the gift of truth, beauty, and goodness in our state of harmonized oneness, we can find peace in knowing that everything really is perfect as it is. Tapping into our divine energy helps us become aware that there will always be things we perceive as “problems,” there will always be things we want to improve, and there will always be lots of difficult decisions to be made throughout life. But these all stem from thinking — not being.

Even though the entire universe is constantly flowing and changing, we can find freedom from our naturally human desires to control, overanalyze, regret, worry, or do anything else of the sort when we move closer to being in tune with our state of infinite being. When we have this sense of connection and unity with something greater than ourselves in our human form, it's easier to detach from those negative thoughts and feelings, all at the same time paving the way for us to develop real appreciation for every experience in the present just as it is – and just as it's meant to be.

Photo (edited) via Pierce Martin


10 Ways to Naturally Reduce Allergy Symptoms

10 Ways to Naturally Reduce Allergy Symptoms

There isn’t much to dislike about warm weather, sunny days, flowers in bloom and endless opportunities to get outdoors… except maybe the allergies that come with all those things. A good day can easily be turned into a miserable one when symptoms impact everything you try to do.

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI), the amount of pollen released into the air during spring allergy season has been on the rise in recent years, with any early prediction for this year stating that it could potentially be the worst pollen season ever. The increase in pollen is said to have a lot to do with climate change where warmer weather has extended the growing season, resulting in more carbon dioxide -- and therefore more pollen as well.

Rather than suffering, there are several changes you can make to naturally relieve and prevent allergy symptoms from sticking with you all day and all night long even when indoors:

Use a doormat. Adding a doormat both inside and outside every door of your home can help keep dirt, pollen, and pathogens from making their way indoors.

Leave your shoes at the door. Got that doormat? Don’t let your shoes go anywhere past it. If you have to grab something from inside, always take your shoes off first, and ask family members or roommates to do the same.

Reduce rugs and vacuum your carpets. All sorts of stuff can settle into rugs and carpets that can set off your allergy symptoms. It may be wise to remove any existing rugs and commit to a weekly vacuuming habit for carpeted floors.

Wash bedding regularly. Make sure to wash all sheets and pillows at least once a week in hot water. You can also take it a step further by investing in hypoallergenic bedding, pillow covers and mattress covers.

Wear clean clothes. It can be tempting to throw on a sweater or jacket after it’s been worn outside once already, but any allergens that have come into contact with it could trigger your symptoms. Aim to wear clean clothes every day and consider changing when you get home.

Shower after spending time outside. Those who like to shower at night can rest easy in knowing they’re not dragging any dirt or allergens into their beds with them. Make sure to wash your hair as well.

Keep windows and doors closed. You might enjoy a cool breeze flowing inside, but if allergies are a serious issue, you’re better off keeping those windows and doors shut — especially during early morning hours when plants release their pollen.

Drink more green tea. Research suggests that a compound found in green tea may block a cell receptor related to allergic reactions. It hasn’t been proven to work on humans as of yet, but why not try it anyway?

Up your omega-3 intake. While it may not do much of anything in terms of relieving existing symptoms, studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids from cold water fish or supplements can help boost the immune system and potentially reduce susceptibility to allergies.

Diffuse essential oils. Peppermint oil can instantly help unclog sinuses and relieve throat discomfort. Eucalyptus oil is another essential oil worth considering for its ability to open up sinuses and lungs to improve airflow.

Dealing with allergies shouldn't have to be such a pain. Follow these tips and hopefully you’ll be on your way to a significantly more comfortable and sniffle-free season.


Inspiring Friends & Family to Make Greener Choices

Inspiring Friends & Family to Make Greener Choices

There’s nothing quite like being consciously dedicated to an eco-friendly lifestyle only to watch your own friends and relatives continue to waste food, toss recyclable materials in the garbage, leave the car idling in the driveway and engage in all sorts of other not-so-environmentally-friendly habits right in front of you. To make matters worse, anyone who’s ever tried to tell a friend or relative that they should change a bad habit often just sounds pushy or naggy in a way that never really gets the message through to them.

We can’t change other people’s behavior for them, but we can lead by example and inspire them by making them aware of our own eco-friendly experiences. While it certainly doesn’t guarantee that everyone around you will automatically jump right on the green living bandwagon, sharing our own journeys with the people we care about is a much more encouraging way to get them to listen and open up their minds to change. Here’s how.

Share how you’ve benefited

This is probably the easiest way you can inspire friends and family members to go green. Rather than flat out telling them what you think they should do to be more environmentally conscious, look for opportunities in your conversations to talk about some of the changes you’ve made and how you’ve benefited from them. For example, if you’ve gained more energy and vitality by replacing meat in your diet with more plant-based foods, that’s certainly something to talk about!

Prove that it’s cheaper

Not everyone is so easily convinced that going green can save them money–especially when it comes to buying organic. If you’ve saved money by making greener choices, why not discuss how much you've saved with friends and family? Whether you’ve saved money by making your own non-toxic household cleaners or by changing the settings on your dishwasher and washing machine, chances are your friends and relatives will want to hear all about it if you yourself are excited to share it.

Demonstrate it right in front of them

Sometimes people just have to see something to believe it. To demonstrate your commitment to eco-conscious living, you could invite people over to your place (for a dinner party, board game night, etc.) so you can casually show off your vegetable and herb garden, your cleverly repurposed items (like glass jars), your eco-friendly dishwashing method and anything else green that you’ve worked into your lifestyle. If it’s interesting enough, your guests will likely take notice and start asking you questions about it without you needing to even mention it first.

Offer to do it for them

As a last tip, you can generously offer to make a small green change for a friend or family member that might get them to really pay attention. This strategy may be most appropriate when you’re a guest at their home. For example, you could offer to take some plastic bottles to the recycling bin or food scraps to the compost pile. And if they don’t recycle or compost, you could even politely ask if they’d be okay with you taking those bottles or food scraps back to your place so they can be properly recycled or composted.

Bear in mind that while the above methods can work wonders to inspire people in a very natural way, the trick is to keep the focus on the changes you’ve made in your own life, invoke curiosity, share the benefits, and avoid deliberately pushing your own thoughts and beliefs onto other people. Whatever you do, don’t be that friend or relative who can't help but be a nag!


5 Science-Backed Reasons to Get Outside

5 Science-Backed Reasons to Get Outside

We’re all told time and time again that getting outside as often as possible is good for us. That's all well and good, but is there any real proof of it?

You better believe there is! For anyone who's in need of more solid evidence to be convinced that nature truly does have the power to transform both the mind and body in the most positive ways imaginable, here are five incredible benefits you can experience from spending time in nature -- with scientific proof to back it all up.

It enhances creativity

Next time you feel really stuck on trying to come up with a creative plan or decision to solve a particular problem, treat yourself to at a 20-minute break where you can leave your current environment and go for a walk outside in a park or along a street with lots of trees. In a series of four experiments, researchers found that walking alone boosted creativity in real time, but the most novel and highest quality results were seen when it was combined with outdoor stimulation.

It produces better fitness results

It’s worth ditching the treadmill or stationary bike in favor of doing the real thing outside. In one particular study, researches found that adults who exercised outside accumulated significantly more physical activity compared to those who exercised indoors only. The reason why this might be likely has to do with the changing conditions of an outdoor environment (wind, weather, terrain, altitude, etc.) that physically challenge the body more than the stabler conditions of an indoor environment.

It improves mood and self-esteem

If you’re feeling a bit down in the dumps, simply being in the presence of nature may be powerful enough to shift your mood and make you feel better about yourself. Researchers who conducted experiments on “green exercise” (physical activity in nature) discovered that every green environment improved both mood and self-esteem in study participants. The presence of water was found to result in even greater effects on mood and self-esteem.

It may be a natural anti-aging solution

Want to live longer and feel younger? There’s evidence that simply making a daily habit of getting out in nature can slow the aging process. A study from the Journal of Aging Health suggests that a daily outdoor habit correlated with reduced functional decline and improved health in older adults. Those who were 70 years old had fewer complaints of aches, pains, sleep problems, and other age-related health issues.

It boosts the immune system

It seems that nature really is the best medicine in more ways than just on a psychological level. According to a research-based report from the University of Illinois, spending time in nature can help protect the body against all sorts of sicknesses and diseases, including depression, diabetes, obesity, ADHD, cancer, cardiovascular disease and others. As many as 21 possible pathways that link nature and human health could be traced from the research.

While there’s still a lot to be discovered about the relationship between nature and human health, including why it impacts us the way that it does, it’s probably safe to say that spending more time outside undoubtedly has a lot of real positive effects to offer us. Scientifically proven or not, the best way to determine how you might benefit is to get out there and experience it for yourself!