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Consumer Reports: The healing power of nature

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Posted at 4:00 AM, Sep 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-27 09:27:16-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - Like a lot of us, Maura Costello has a busy family life and a stressful job. When she feels overwhelmed, she turns to nature for some relief. Today she is meditating in the woods with nature guide, John Polemis.

“It gives me some peace. It gives me some quiet. And I don’t think there is a better place to do that than in nature," says Costello.

Consumer Reports says you don’t need a guide, or have to spend hours in the wilderness to benefit.

“One study shows that as little as 20 minutes in or near green spaces may help lower stress hormones," says Consumer Reports Health Editor, Kevin Loria. And even something as simple as taking care of your potted plants could help reduce stress.”

Some scientific reviews suggest your physical health can benefit, too. Linking spending time outdoors to better sleep, reduced depression and reduced obesity. Among older adults spending time in nature is associated with lower mortality from heatstroke, cardiovascular disease and type two diabetes. Maybe you’re wondering how simply spending time outside could reap such big benefits?

“Scientists say that being in nature helps reduce your exposure to air pollution, noise pollution and heat - all of which are linked to chronic disease," says Loria.

In nature, you’re also more likely to be physically active, which can help lower the risk of cancer and cardiovascular problems as well as improving mental health and brain function. To get the most out of your time outside, Consumer Reports says leave the electronics behind and simply enjoy all that nature has to offer.