Very few people would be surprised to hear that going on nature walks is a healthy activity. However, what few of us realize is that this type of exercise has a much broader spectrum of benefits than the same amount of physical activity on a treadmill.

Doctors and fitness enthusiasts have known for centuries that going on nature walks is good for our physical, mental and emotional health and a growing body of research is now supporting it. Walking and hiking outdoors – particularly in natural surroundings – has a measurable and significant impact on our wellness.

In Japan, the practice of going on nature walks is very highly respected and has its own word, which is “shinrin-yoku” which means “forest bathing.” The experience is indeed a kind of cleansing, as it allows the body to be refreshed through each of the senses. Consider the following healthful benefits to heading out into natural surroundings for a while:

• It lowers the risk of cancer

Research suggests that heading out for a walk in nature changes our chemical composition to the point that it has a meaningful impact on the immune system. Staying for a while in nature can have such a powerful impact that it can last for months afterward. This immune boost involves the reduction of certain cancer-risk compounds.

• It reduces stress levels

The natural fragrance of a forest, alone, can cause a powerful emotional response that is meaningfully stress reducing. Just as certain smells can be highly nostalgic, others can play a very relaxing role in our bodies. Kyoto University researchers have found a direct link between stress levels and the amount of time spent in a natural location, particularly in a forested area.

• It can improve brain function

German, American and British studies have all suggested that cognitive skills improve among children who are allowed to play in forested environments when compared to those who spend more time in an enclosed space.

• It can decrease blood pressure

Simply going for a hike in a wooded area can help lower blood pressure. In fact, The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) promotes National Trails Day as the impact of spending time exercising in a natural environment has such a positive impact on a person’s health and wellness. Research has consistently shown that walking in nature lowers blood pressure both during the experience and afterward as well.

If you’ve been too tired to enjoy the benefits of nature walks, there are products with scientifically researched ingredients that can help you feel energized. 3G BURN is one of the best energy supplement options available, as it is manufactured in a cGMP facility within the United States for quality control.