This week's challenge is to GET OUT THERE, where "there" is any patch of nature you can find. The larger and more awe-inspiring the patch of nature, the better. And once you're there? Clean it up. Read on to find out why and how.
Walks in nature improve your short term memory better than walks in urban environments, thus showing that it's not just the walking that helps, but where you walk as well.
One study found that simply looking at pictures of nature can help mental fatigue. However, getting out into the great outdoors is far more effective at restoring the ability to focus. So much so that "forest therapy" has been touted as highly beneficial to those with ADHD.
Students sent into the forest for two nights had far lower levels of cortisol than those who stayed in the city, found one study. Among office workers, even just having a view of nature is associated with lower stress.
Elderly patients who spent a week out in the woods showed reduced signs of inflammation and hypertension.
Outdoor activity has been shown to have a protective effect on the eyes, reducing the risks of developing myopia.
reduced early death risk
Access to nature has a strong association with longer, healthier lives. The percentage of green space in people's lives has a direct correlation with their general health, found one study.
get out there
For the duration of this challenge, get outdoors as much as you can. The further from an urban environment, the better. Any outdoor space will do (beaches, mountains, parks, etc) but forests are particularly effective.
clean it up
While you are enjoying the multitude of health benefits that come with simply being outdoors, do Mother Nature a favour in return and pick up some of the litter you'll see along the way. It'll make the experience even more rewarding for the next person who comes along.
Depending on where you are getting outside, there may be loads of litter or very little. Arm yourself with a bag (reusable or recyclable) and maybe even a pair of old gardening gloves to protect your hands from the grubby stuff.
Our individual efforts won't have much of an impact if there are only a few of us making these changes. The more people we can get involved, the bigger a difference we'll make. Tell a friend or use the buttons below to share this page.
Tell us about your experience with this challenge on social media. What are you finding hard or easy about it? Tell us about #getoutthere via the social media buttons below. Don't forget to tag The Kin Project when you do.
Do you have suggestions for future challenges? What do you think about this challenge? Any ideas/questions about the rest of the site? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the form below.