The synergetic effects of physical activity and certain organic compounds in nature can boost overall psychological well-being.
Hiking in nature is not only good for our bodies, it's good for our moods, our minds, and our relationships, too. The experience of hiking is unique, research suggests, conveying benefits beyond what you receive from typical exercise. Not only does it oxygenate your heart, it helps keep your mind sharper, your body calmer, your creativity more alive, and your relationships happier. And, if you're like me and happen to live in a place where nearby woods allow for hiking among trees, all the better: Evidence suggests that being around trees may provide extra benefits, perhaps because of certain organic compounds that trees exude that boost our mood and our overall psychological wellbeing. Hiking in nature is so powerful for our health and well-being that some doctors have begun prescribing it as an adjunct to other treatments for disease. As one group of researchers puts it, "The synergistic effect of physical activity and time spent ir.1 nature make hiking an ideal activity to increase overall health and wellness."