|Belmont Plateau Cross-Country Course, Philadelphia, PA|
Doctors in some East Asia countries are now prescribing what the Japanese call shinrin-yoku or "forest bathing"-- using the senses to soak up the sights, smells and sounds of the of the woods.
Scientists at the University of East Anglia analyzed the findings of more than 140 studies involving nearly 300 million people from 20 countries including the U.S, Spain, Australia, and Japan.
They found that spending more time outside in nature or leaving near green spaces including urban parks is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, early death and high blood pressure, as well as with better sleep and stronger feelings of well-being.
|Running through Redwoods National Park, California|
Breathing in phytoncides, which are organized compounds emitted by trees may stimulate our immune systems and reduce inflammation.
Twohig-Bennet says the study found concrete evidence that green space "significantly reduces people's levels of salivary cortisol- a physiological marker of stress."
Of course, cross-country running is one of the few sports to routinely offer this benefit.
|Start of a Gloucester Catholic Cross-Country Meet in New Jersey|