Ah, trees. They’re everywhere you go, yet people know very little about them. This is why you might be surprised to learn that being around trees ultimately leads to a ton of health benefits (both physical and mental).
Pretty crazy, right? Those big and beautiful trees aren’t just something pretty to stare at during the summer – they’re actually great for human health. This is why it’s recommended that you spend as much time around them as possible. Otherwise, if you’re always indoors, then you’ll never get to experience the true magic of why trees are on this planet.
When Did Trees First Appear?
Trees first started to appear over 380 million years ago. You don’t need anyone to tell you that that’s a long time by any stretch of the imagination. You could live your life thousands of times and still get close to when the first trees emerged!
Interestingly, the first trees started out much smaller than they are today. The seeds had no integument or layers of protection (unlike today’s trees). Then, around 30 million years later, they started to become naturally bigger and more widespread.
If you live in the UK, you might be interested to learn where are the UK’s oldest trees. You can even visit these trees if you feel like traveling to some beautiful spots located around the country.
So, what are the top 5 health benefits of trees? Let’s find out!
1. Mental Wellbeing
Trees have been proven to:
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduce stress levels
- Induce feelings of calmness and happiness
This is why people feel much better when they spend lots of time out in nature – almost as if they’ve been mentally cleansed.
2. Reduced Air Pollution
In the era of climate change, air pollution is a big problem. Some countries have air pollution problems that are so bad you can visibly see the pollution in the air. As a result, this can increase an individual’s risk of heart disease, lung cancer, and more. There’s good news, though: trees significantly help to reduce air pollution. For example, in the US alone, urban trees remove around 711,000 metric tons of air pollution each and every year, which is huge.
3. Stronger Immune System
When it comes to improving the immune system, most healthcare professionals recommend taking Vitamin D supplements. However, they often forget how good trees are for strengthening your immune system. The way this works is simple: trees release healthy airborne chemicals – phytoncides – that have been proven to boost the human immune system.
4. Physical Activity
When a town features lots of trees and greenery, it automatically encourages more people to get outside and be active. For example, if you lived behind a beautiful and vast forest with plenty of footpaths, you’d be much more likely to go for daily walks and runs!
5. Cooling Spaces
Trees and towns get very hot during summer because of their hard surfaces (e.g., the tarmac). Thankfully, trees counteract this by providing a cooling effect. Not to mention, people can walk under trees any time they need a break from the humidity, which is extremely beneficial when you live in hot countries such as Malta and Portugal.