Science Says a Walk in the Woods Can Help Feelings of Loneliness

by Chase Thomas
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Walking is an easily overlooked but incredibly beneficial activity. Walking can serve a variety of purposes and while running is thought to be the better form of exercise for most, it is not for everyone. Each person is different, but walking is beneficial. Especially if folks walk a certain number of minutes each week. It all adds up in the grand scheme of things. But what you may not think about when you think about walking is where one walks. Where you walk can be just as important according to a new scientific report. Science now says a walk in the woods can indeed help feelings of loneliness.

Yes, according to new research on the matter published in a new journal for Scientific Reports, walking in the woods has been shown to help feelings of loneliness for folks. Ultimately, the report outlines how living in a bigger city can foster more feelings of loneliness but by venturing out into less densely populated areas, like out in the woods, some of that could potentially be alleviated. The percentage from the study came out to be around 28 percent of those studied benefited from walking in nature.

The Importance of Walking

Walking is good for you. It’s easy to overlook walking as an effective form of exercise, though.

Dr. Matt Tanneberg told NBC News, “Walking can be as good as a workout, if not better, than running.” He continued, “You hear of people ‘plateauing’ when they continue to do the same workout routine and stop seeing results. I see patients all the time that plateau from running, they will run the same distance, speed and time, day in and day out. You need to constantly be switching up your exercise routine in order to get the maximum benefit for your health.”

Part of the importance is changing up your workout routine. You can walk outside one day, perhaps go run a couple of miles the other, Outsiders. It’s all about what works for the individual. However, it is interesting to hear that walking can be better for folks than running.

John Ford, a certified exercise physiologist, also told NBC News that, “In fact, walking is the suggested workout over running for many people. For example, those with knee, ankle and back problems and also for people who are overweight to obese. Walking is a lower impact exercise and can be done for longer periods of time.”

It’s different for everyone. It might be better for some folks to walk every day, while it might be better for other folks to run every day. It’s not the same for everyone. What matters is finding out what works for you, and understanding which forms of exercise make the most sense long-term.

Outsider.com