This Month’s Focus: Take a Hike
Enjoying the outdoors and being in green spaces has many benefits. Studies have shown that “taking a hike” can increase life expectancy, sleep quality and reduce cancer risks. Specifically, an activity known as “forest bathing” (Shinrin-yoku) has positive physiological effects, such as blood pressure reduction, improvement of immune functions, as well as psychological effects of alleviating depression and improving mental health. The results have shown that a session of approximately 2 hours of forest bathing as part of a 1-day outing in a forest environment can lead to improvements in physiological and psychological health.
To learn more about the benefits of being in nature and forest bathing, click here,
By the Numbers
311,985,998 is the number of recreation visits that took place in 2022.
What parks did the people go?
- 38% Recreation Parks
- 32% Historical Parks
- 30% Nature Parks
Source: National Park Service.
According to the Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national nonprofit focused on park advocacy, some key health benefits of visiting a park are:
- Promotion and encouragement of exercising
- Exposure to nature improves psychological and social health
- Play is critical for child development
- Access to parks helps with social wellness and builds healthy communities
Did you know? Parks or green spaces in urban areas can actually cool the surrounding areas by 10 degrees! Studies have shown that frequent visits to a park can help reduce depression and anxiety while exercising in parks can reduce stress and cortisol levels by 15%.
If you are interested in visiting a national park and “take a hike,” visit The National Parks Experience and learn the best months to visit one.
Reads & Soundbits
- Podcast: Hindsight Hikers
- Podcast: America’s National Parks