Winding down and relaxing after a long, hard and stressful day does one's physical and mental health a world of good. Taking a walk is one way to do that and doing so close to nature is even better.
"When we walk in a forest or park, our levels of white blood cells increase and it also lowers our pulse rate, blood pressure and level of the stress hormone cortisol," said Dr. Aaron Michelfelder, professor of family medicine at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.
Research in Japan has shown that walking close to greenery could help fight cancer. Plants emit chemicals called phytoncides that protect them from insects and rotting. When a person breathes in these chemicals, the level of "natural killer" cells within his body increases. These cells are part of the immune response to cancer.