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.
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