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Can spending time surrounded by nature boost your immune system?

Can spending time surrounded by nature boost your immune system?

Australia is a country replete in great natural beauty. According to the country's Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, the land Down Under boasts some 125 million hectares of forest, accounting for some 16 per cent of its surface area. Combine this with its vast bush, abundant with life, and plethora of ancient lakes, and you have a country that can lay claim to some of the most impressive natural wonders known to mankind. That's before we even mention the 25,760 kilometres of coastline, positively teeming with wildlife not found anywhere else in the world.

Getting back to nature

We can use this great bounty of nature right here on the doorstep to our advantage if a new study is to be believed. Researchers at the University of Illinois (UI) have analysed many hundreds of papers of academic study regarding how the natural world can affect our overall well-being. It was discovered through this painstaking research that spending time amongst the trees and flowers may well offer humans protection against a medley of serious conditions, including depression, obesity and cardiovascular disease. How, though, can taking regular walks through the woods help you ward off these illnesses? University of Illinois (UI) environment and behaviour academic Ming Kuo is of the opinion that getting back to nature can give our immune systems a significant boost as part of a healthy lifestyle.

Spending time amongst the trees and flowers may well offer humans protection against a medley of serious conditions.

"I pulled every bit of the research in this area together that I could find, and was surprised to realise I could trace as many as 21 possible pathways between nature and good health - and even more surprised to realise that all but two of the pathways shared a single common denominator," said Ms Kuo.

Nourishing nature

That denominator was the fact that the immune system plays a vital role against each of the conditions of which nature can defend against -  a remarkable discovery. Ms Kuo goes on to say that nature itself can act like a multivitamin, full of vital nutrients and vitamins that can ward off several different types of illness, be they respiratory, musculoskeletal, or even mental in kind. Additionally, this hypothetical multivitamin is hugely versatile - it can fight off all of these conditions at once.

"When we feel completely safe, our body devotes resources to long-term investments that lead to good health outcomes - growing, reproducing, and building the immune system. When we are in nature in that relaxed state, and our body knows that it's safe, it invests resources toward the immune system," explained Ms Kuo. 

Spending time in nature may help bolster your immune system, if a new study is to be believed.Spending time in nature may help bolster your immune system, if a new study is to be believed.

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Can spending time surrounded by nature boost your immune system?

A new study has found that spending time in nature may well boost the immune system, helping it ward off a variety of serious conditions.

Australia is a country replete in great natural beauty. According to the country's Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, the land Down Under boasts some 125 million hectares of forest, accounting for some 16 per cent of its surface area. Combine this with its vast bush, abundant with life, and plethora of ancient lakes, and you have a country that can lay claim to some of the most impressive natural wonders known to mankind. That's before we even mention the 25,760 kilometres of coastline, positively teeming with wildlife not found anywhere else in the world.

Getting back to nature

We can use this great bounty of nature right here on the doorstep to our advantage if a new study is to be believed. Researchers at the University of Illinois (UI) have analysed many hundreds of papers of academic study regarding how the natural world can affect our overall well-being. It was discovered through this painstaking research that spending time amongst the trees and flowers may well offer humans protection against a medley of serious conditions, including depression, obesity and cardiovascular disease. How, though, can taking regular walks through the woods help you ward off these illnesses? University of Illinois (UI) environment and behaviour academic Ming Kuo is of the opinion that getting back to nature can give our immune systems a significant boost as part of a healthy lifestyle.

Spending time amongst the trees and flowers may well offer humans protection against a medley of serious conditions.

"I pulled every bit of the research in this area together that I could find, and was surprised to realise I could trace as many as 21 possible pathways between nature and good health - and even more surprised to realise that all but two of the pathways shared a single common denominator," said Ms Kuo.

Nourishing nature

That denominator was the fact that the immune system plays a vital role against each of the conditions of which nature can defend against -  a remarkable discovery. Ms Kuo goes on to say that nature itself can act like a multivitamin, full of vital nutrients and vitamins that can ward off several different types of illness, be they respiratory, musculoskeletal, or even mental in kind. Additionally, this hypothetical multivitamin is hugely versatile - it can fight off all of these conditions at once.

"When we feel completely safe, our body devotes resources to long-term investments that lead to good health outcomes - growing, reproducing, and building the immune system. When we are in nature in that relaxed state, and our body knows that it's safe, it invests resources toward the immune system," explained Ms Kuo. 

Spending time in nature may help bolster your immune system, if a new study is to be believed.Spending time in nature may help bolster your immune system, if a new study is to be believed.
Can spending time surrounded by nature boost your immune system?
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