Often times when we say we are going to go on vacation, we end up doing something work related while we are “relaxing” away from work. Raise your hand if this is you…
When do we get to take time for ourselves and our family when the mantra that we all usually live by is “there just aren’t enough hours in the day?” We talk about putting family first and how nice it would be to actually have a minute to ourselves. There is scientific evidence supporting the health benefits of taking a vacation, and even more research that shows why choosing nature as your vacation is even better for you. Here are just some of the reasons why vacationing in nature could be a more relaxing choice for you.
Potential Health Benefits of Vacationing in Nature
There have been countless medical and mental health professional publications that include studies surrounding the health benefits of taking a vacation or even a short break from work life to decompress from the daily stressors that come with adulting. Those who have taken this time have shown a significant decrease in stress, anxiety, and heart disease. These individuals also showed increased productivity, improved quality of life, and higher instances of accomplishing set goals. This all sounds good right? What if I told you that this could get even better with just one small step… adding nature as part of your vacation planning.
Although there are many benefits of incorporating nature as a core component of your next vacation, there are some top reasons researchers have found that could be impacted with this one small step.
1. Improvement in Cognitive Functioning
Dr. Gretchen Cara Daily, Director for the Center for Conservation Biology and a professor at Stanford University has done research on the effects nature can have on humans. In one of these tests, she measured the memory, stress, and creativity of participants both before and after walking through secluded wooded areas where nature was the only sounds surrounding the participants. Then, she followed the same individual before and after walking through urban environments. Dr. Daily’s data indicated a marked improvement in all areas for the participants after walking through a shaded tree-lined area.
2. More Restful Sleep
Some researchers have found that just walking or sitting outdoors and interacting with nature in evening hours boosts the brain’s natural production the sleep hormone, melatonin. This effect is amplified when you remove the constant distractions of electronics, city lights, and other hindrances to relaxation.
3. Can Walking in Nature Help Combat Depression?
Would you believe that simply walking in nature daily can help combat depression up to 80% better than taking medication? Dr. Michael Craig Miller, assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School stated, “For some people it works as well as antidepressants…”
4. Improved Blood Oxygenation.
Patrick J. Drew, Huck Distinguished Associate Professor of Neural Engineering and Neurosurgery and associate director of the Penn State Neuroscience Institute explained, “Standard thought was that mammalian blood is always completely saturated with oxygen.” This is not actually true. Drew goes on to explain, “We know that people change breathing patterns when doing cognitive tasks… In the brain, increases in neural activity usually are accompanied by increase in blood flow.” Researchers found that instead of a drop in oxygenation when there was a decrease of blood flow, the driving factor for functioning was respiration to oxygenate blood. Being in nature and taking those deep breaths of fresh air not only helps detox your lungs, but can also increase the oxygenation of your blood!
Soaking in Mineral Hot Springs for Relaxation
At Yellowstone Hot Springs, you will find yourself just far enough outside of town to be in nature while being close enough to town that groceries or dinner at a local restaurant are only a few minutes away. You could choose to stake your tent in one of the campgrounds at Yellowstone Hot Springs so you can enjoy rustic relaxation under the beautiful Montana stars. If you prefer your dose of nature with more comfort, feel free to pull up in your RV to glamp in style at our RV sites right next to YHS. Your outdoor experience might include a day trip through Yellowstone National Park, and then a nice relaxing soak in geothermal mineral pools at Yellowstone Hot Springs. With so much nature and relaxation in one place, it is a great area to spend a weekend or take a vacation.
Disclaimer: At YHS we are not health professionals. While use of geothermal waters for traditional and typical advantages of refreshment, recreation and relaxation may support a healthy lifestyle, we make no claims of specific health benefits for anyone. These geothermal waters are not intended as a substitute for appropriate care by a licensed medical or health practitioner in the treatment or cure of any disease or condition.
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