WOOD COUNTY, W.Va, (WTAP)- As it turns out, if someone tells you to take a hike, they may actually just be genuinely interested in your overall well-being.
A new study performed by the University of Michigan say that by taking a 20 minute walk in nature three times a week, you can significantly reduce your stress hormone levels.
The study, calling the activity a “nature pill”, found that the walks reduced the amount of cortisol, a stress hormone, by 10 %.
Local park officials in the area say that walking outside provides benefits that a traditional gym experience cannot.
“You come to Mountwood and you hike one of our trails, you never know what you’re going to see. You’ve got wildlife, you’ve got the sounds, you can hear the stream behind me. Just the fresh air, the wind. Outside activity, you can’t beat it,” says Jeremy Cross, the Wood County Parks Director.
The study was published in Frontiers in Psychology.