|Aiming for 150 minutes of exercise this week? Two or three cups of vegetables a day? And 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night? Health guidelines can motivate us, give us a reality check on our habits, and help us track our progress. The latest lifestyle advice isn’t about steps, push-ups, or Brussels sprouts, but about …. trees. And grass, flowers, and the ocean. Being near them, specifically. Spending time outdoors might seem like a wishy-washy health goal, but a growing body of research links time in nature to benefits ranging from lower blood pressure and stress to a reduced risk of diabetes and heart disease—even a longer life! A new study gets down to brass tacks and suggests an approximate “dose.” Looking at data from some 20,000 people, researchers found that spending at least 120 minutes or two hours a week in a natural setting was associated with better health and well being. And there’s good news for city dwellers: regular visits to the outdoors appeared to be just as beneficial as, say, living in the woods. So take morning walks through a park or on a nearby trail. Eat your lunch outside (weather permitting) under a tree or next to a pond. Plan regular weekend hikes or camping trips. Your summer health prescription: Two hours of nature a week plus regular exercise, plenty of sleep, and delicious, nutritious meals that you love and love you back. That’s an easy “pill” to swallow!
Source: Spending at least 120 minutes a week in nature is associated with good health and wellbeing