A University of Michigan study, for example, demonstrated that those who walked in areas with lots of trees improved their memory by almost 20 percent. Another study of healthy nurses who went "forest bathing" on a three-day, two-night trip in northwest Japan showed a substantial increase in the immune-boosting "Natural killer" activity, and it lasted at least seven days after the trip was over. Researchers have also determined that heart rate and cortisol levels both plummet when study subjects spend time in the forest.
But how do office- and hospital-corridor bound nurses get this nature boost? Try these tips to increase your chances:
Get an annual membership to a nature preserve.
Places like the Chattahoochee Nature Center in Roswell offer great discounts if you sign up for the whole year, and that will make you far more likely to get out and about. Other places are free.
Some meetup groups, like the Atlanta Healthcare Professsionals Group, take hikes and have pool parties on the lake when they're not doing city-based activities.
Take lessons in the great outdoors.
Nurses are great learners, and improving skills in anything from archery to kayaking is a great way to get more nature time.