Lakeshore flood advisory from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday for 3 counties
Dense fog advisory issued for lakeshore counties until 4 a.m. Monday

Healing power of nature

Are you feeling tired and stressed by the pressures of your life? Consumer Reports says that an easy and free way to feel better is to simply open your door and step out into nature. A wealth of scientific evidence has found that stress hormones drop and health benefits rise after even small doses in green spaces.

Consumer Reports says you don’t need a guide or have to spend hours in the wilderness to benefit. A study shows that as little as 20 minutes in or near green spaces may help lower stress hormones. Even something as simple as taking care of your potted plants could help reduce stress.

Some scientific reviews suggest that your physical health can benefit, too. Spending time outdoors has been linked to better sleep, reduced depression, and reduced obesity.

Among older adults, spending time in nature is associated with lower mortality from heatstroke, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes.

Maybe you’re wondering how spending time outside can reap such big benefits. Scientists say that being in nature helps reduce your exposure to air pollution, noise pollution, and heat, all of which are linked to chronic disease.

In nature, you’re also more likely to be physically active, which can help lower the risk of cancer and cardiovascular problems as well as improve mental health and brain function.

To get the most out of your time outside, Consumer Reports says leave the electronics behind and simply enjoy all that nature has to offer.

Consumer Reports says that even if you’re stuck in an office all day, there’s evidence that just looking out a window or viewing scenes of woods and meadows on your computer could be
beneficial. And don’t worry if 20 minutes a day isn’t possible. Committing to just 5 minutes is a good start.

All Consumer Reports material Copyright 2019 Consumer Reports, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit consumerreports.org.

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