Health effects of being in pristine nature

Health effects of being in pristine nature

You probably knew that being in nature is good for you, that just 10 minutes in the woods lowers your blood pressure and evens out your pulse. But did you know that Lapland has the last true areas of unspoiled wilderness in Europe and some of the cleanest air in the world?

One better, the air in our very own region of Lapland; Muonio and Fell Lapland, was found to be up there as top dog! Excuse us the pun…

It’s not only the fact that Lapland has more reindeer than people but also the combo of respect and love for nature that we have here, that makes it so easy to come and just fall in love with the place.

The never ending enchanted forests, hundreds of fresh water lakes and long sparkling rivers invite you to hike, climb, cycle, ride, ski, snowshoe, sled, whatever your activity of choice, in pure zen meanwhile knowing that you’re really doing your bod a favour with these health benefits of being in pristine nature.

So what does pristine nature and clean air do to you exactly?

1. Helps elevate your mood and can even help depression – A research team from Finland found that people began to feel psychologically restored only after 15 minutes of sitting outside in a forest. 45 minutes of strolling in the woods “increased vitality”[1]. Many studies also show that walks in calm nature can lighten feelings of depression, and spending time in nature is an efficient stress reliever.[2] Relieving stress of course has far reaching benefits such as reduced risk of strokes and heart attacks, and even reduces stress-related hair loss! [3]

2. Makes you naturally pretty – Some of us need all the help we can get in this regard, and particularly one’s skin can benefit from being out in the nature by reducing stress, which then reduces acne, eczema, psoriasis and itchy skin. The added benefit of clean air and oxygen improves your skin and makes you sleep better (which is a whole other conversation altogether!)[4] Who doesn’t love those apple cheeks?

3. Improves digestion and helps with weight management – While just sitting outside might not help with this one I’m afraid, a study has found that hiking in nature is a good way to sneak in exercise which you might not register as exercise. Spending time in higher altitudes can speed up metabolism and lower your appetite.[5]

4. Improves ability to concentrate and betters memory – So if you are stuck in a writer’s block trying to finish that book you always wanted to write, or maybe you want a place to concentrate fully on a work project? Rent a cabin and do it in Lapland. Trust me, just do it. [6]

5. Being in nature makes you more creative – First of all, ask any national poet or painter or composer, they’ve all sourced their themes from their respective nation’s nature. In a cross-Nordic study the researchers found that people look for aesthetic experiences in nature.[7] So if you want to boost your creativity, for which ever project that might be, start in the nature.

Pick berries and mushrooms, drink straight from an arctic stream in the open wild, fish for salmon, it really doesn’t get much more natural than this. As soon as you step off the train or plane, just breathe in the nature and see how it invigorates you, revitalises you and focuses you. Now that’s #winning.

Amongst all of these negative news, how about that for a breath of fresh air? Literally.

Pictures all taken by our guides this past year:

From top: Reindeer on a summer pasture in Äkäskero, Mid day sun on a husky drive, Northern lights on one of our wilderness cabins

From top: Summer view from Äkäskero Nature Resort, Äkäsaivo canyon, View from the top of Särkitunturi