Nature makes you lively!

June 3rd, 2010

Just in time for the weekend comes news of a recent study that pretty much says nature can get your ass going better than coffee!

OK, they didn’t compare nature to coffee, but the lead researcher, Richard Ryan of the University of Rochester, said, “Often when we feel depleted we reach for a cup of coffee, but research suggests a better way to get energized is to connect with nature.”

In recent years, several studies have shown the positive benefits of spending time in nature, but this new study is different.

Researchers attempted to isolate the vitalizing effects of nature from the boost you get from physical activity and time spent with friends outside. They devised several experiments with hundreds of college students as participants. Sometimes the students really went outdoors, and sometimes they looked at nature photography and just imagined themselves outdoors.

The study results revealed that the participants who spent time in nature or imagined themselves doing so were consistently more energized. Ryan said, “Nature is fuel for the soul. ”

Nature’s energizing effects are somewhat of a mystery still. Whether you attribute it to chi, God, chemicals in your brain, etc., it doesn’t matter. The important thing is to get outside (out of your car) and have fun.

(image credit: University of Rochester)

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