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Outdoor hiking improves memory and creativity

Outdoor hiking improves memory and creativity

Hiking in contact with nature is a great way to eliminate stress and relax, but what scientists have discovered is that this activity can actually transform our brain and our life (for the better). A study conducted by psychologists Ruth Ann Atchley and David L. Strayer of the University of Kansas in the United States found that solving creative problems can be drastically improved by the habit of outdoor walking by two factors: the disconnection of technology and the reconnection with nature.

Improves creativity

Participants in this study walked and camped in nature for about 4 days, during which time they were not allowed to use any technology. They were invited to perform tasks that required creative thinking and resolution of complex problems. Researchers found that performance in problem-solving tasks improved by 50 percent for those who took part in this hike without technology.

The researchers in this study observed that both urban technology and noise are incredibly damaging, constantly requiring our attention and preventing us from focusing. All of this can influence our cognitive functions. A good long walk without technology can reduce mental fatigue, ease the mind and stimulate creative thinking.

Prevents memory loss

Researchers at Maastricht University in the Netherlands have found that aerobic exercise increases the volume of the hippocampus, part of the brain associated with spatial and episodic memory, in women over 70 years of age. This exercise not only improves memory loss, but also helps prevent it.

Researchers also discovered that walking outdoors can reduce stress and anxiety, increase self-esteem, and release endorphin. Many people take medications to resolve each of these issues, but the solution to those problems can be much simpler than that.


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