Nature, preventive power of physical and emotional health

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Madrid.-Noemí Romero Vera.- Many people with the arrival of the new year make a list of purposes in order to prioritize and optimize their physical and mental health, in them increase the relationship with nature, either by growing plants or doing physical activities outdoors.

Asome experts consider to get involved with nature and lead a more sustainable lifestyle could have therapeutic and preventive power for the physical and emotional health of people and the health of the planetTherefore, integrating solutions such as green spaces in urban environments or improving environmental education It’s key to secure it.”

According to the UN, each tree can absorb up to 150 kilos of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, in addition, a study published in the journal Scientific Reports, points out that the trees They can lower the temperature between 2 and 8 degrees in a cityand improve water management by capturing it, storing it and returning it to the atmosphere.

Lto company international Sanitas, ensures in a document that “trees in urban areas reduce the possibility of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases related to pollution and exposure to ultraviolet light, by filtering it.”

Also, according to the health insurance company, the trees “They would have positive effects on people’s sleep quality, due to their air purifying capacity, and caring for plants would help reduce anxiety and stress levels.”

Nevertheless, experts like the Vice Director of the Institute of Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology (IBMCP) of the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC), Miguel Mulet, expresses doubts about these benefits and He assures that the plants are not medicinal pills and that “their care can serve as therapy for some people, but not for others.”

mulete holds In addition, it is doubtful to relate the air quality of a plant to its influence on sleep, given the minimal amount of oxygen in a room. with little sunlight and less photosynthesis is capable of producing.

Benefits of green spaces and environmental education

Showever, the Sanitas psychologist, Raquel Velasco del Castillo Among other benefits of green spaces, he highlights “the opportunities for contact and social connection with the community, avoiding isolation and lowering cortisol levels, the stress hormone, lowering blood pressure.”

The Coordinator of the Master’s Degree in Environmental Education at the University of Malaga, John Jesus Martin, He affirms that “even though we have built our asphalt paradise of comforts in the cities, we need nature because we are part of it.”

Martín thus insists on the importance of a good environmental education in green spaces, and ensures that “educational centers and institutions should promote reconnecting with nature, so that people improve their behavior regarding the environment in a conscious way”

In the same line Velasco del Castillo He assures that this would help to generate more emotional links from the cities, “by learning about the areas of vegetation through natural routes or physical activities in them.”

Connection with nature

The Professor of Environmental Psychology at the Autonomous University of Madrid, Jose Antonio Corraliza, holds that the connection with nature comes from two hypotheses, “that of biophilia, and that of psychological restoration.”

The first has to do with the feeling of comfort that nature generates in humans for having evolved in contact with it; the second, with how he is able to reduce fatigue of attentionon derived from the information overload of cities.

Biophilia derives from phytophilia, the preference for environments with vegetation (green spaces) and hydrophilia, preference for places where there is water (blue spaces), both related to a more automatic response that reduces stress when contemplating these elements.

sustainable lifestyle

Corraliza affirms that “a more sustainable lifestyle can help us to be psychologically better” and emphasizes that lasting changes in pro-environmental behavior are more likely to occur due to appreciation of the environment than fear of losing it”, since “when positively reinforces people, leads to more behavior change, and develops effective sustainability behaviors.”

The psychologist concludes that “the nervous system misses that environmental stimulation”, and that “green spaces in urban planning can be an opportunity to break the routines of our daily lives”. EFEverde

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