Boost Your Immune System: Take a Walk in the Woods

Forest
Forest (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn)

When we walk in a forest or park, our levels of white blood cells increase and it also lowers our pulse rate, blood pressure and levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

– Dr. Aaron Michelfelder

Unmanaged stress can lead to serious health conditions, including high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Now research from Japan suggests that walking in the woods may play a role in fighting cancer. Plants emit a chemical (phytoncides) that protect them from rotting and insects. When we humans breathe it in, we increase our own levels of natural killer (NK) cells, a part of a person’s immune response to cancer. In addition, our levels of white blood cells increase, and our pulses and blood pressure may lower. Finally, levels of the stress hormone cortisol can drop.

If you want to wind down, stay away from electronic screens, as they activate the mind. Try to have quite time in the hour before sleeping. And consider a walk in the woods, preferably not at night, and in a zombie-free zone (for all of my fellow Walking Dead television series fans). I’m Dr. Michael Hunter.

The small print: The material presented herein is informational only, and is not designed to provide specific guidance for an individual. Please check with a valued health care provider with any questions or concerns. As for me, I am a Harvard- , Yale- and UPenn-educated radiation oncologist, and I practice in the Seattle, WA (USA) area. I feel genuinely privileged to be able to share with you. If you enjoyed today’s offering, please consider clicking the follow button at the bottom of this page.

Available now: Understand Colon Cancer in 60 Minutes; Understand Brain Glioma in 60 Minutes. Both can be found at the Apple Ibooks store. Coming Soon for iPad:  Understand Breast Cancer in 60 Minutes; Understand Colon Cancer in 60 Minute; Understand Colon Cancer in 60 Minutes; Understand Brain Glioma in 60 Minutes. Thank you.

2 thoughts on “Boost Your Immune System: Take a Walk in the Woods”

  1. In the event you study our healthcare care system you’ll find there are numerous well being issues we endure from that we don’t have a remedy for, the typical cold being just one of them. Also you will find many health issues we do have drugs for but these drugs do not remedy but merely manage the symptoms. Asthma and diabetes are a couple and individuals with these problems are usually on a lifetime of medication that is good business for the businesses which are supplying the drugs.If we weren’t attempting to create a profit from cancer we would possess a remedy for it tomorrow simply because nature has a cure.

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