A Walk in Nature Can Improve Memory

In a recent study at the University of Michigan, researchers found that a walk in nature can improve memory.

The study was reported in a book by Michael Gelb and Kelly Howell called Brain Power: Improve Your Mind as You Age.

They reported,

We Make the Path by Walking It
“Poets and philosophers have always counseled people regarding the benefits of being in nature, and now science is catching up. In a study published in the journal Psychological Science in 2008, neuroscientist John Jonides, Ph.D., and his colleagues measured students’ performance on tests of memory and attention before and after taking a walk. One group strolled through a beautiful arboretum near the campus of the University of Michigan, and the other walked in downtown Ann Arbor. The researchers discovered that those who walked in nature improved their test scores by 20 percent, while those who walked in the city showed no improvement (moreover, they reported a decline in perceived well-being). The researchers concluded, “In sum, we have shown that simple and brief interactions with nature can produce marked increases in cognitive control. To consider the availability of nature as merely an amenity fails to recognize the vital importance of nature in effective cognitive functioning.””

— Michael Gelb and Kelly Howell from Brain Power: Improve Your Mind as You Age

Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh has been teaching walking meditation to his followers for almost 70 years.

He recommends walking in nature when you are angry or upset to calm you nerves and come back to your center.

When was the last time you took a walk in nature?

Books by Michael Gelb

Brain Power: Improve Your Mind as You Age

Michael J. Gelb
Kelly Howell

Virtually everyone fears mental deterioration as they age. But in the past thirty years neuroscientists have discovered that the brain is actually designed to improve throughout life. How can you encourage this improvement? Brain Power shares practical, state-of-the-evidence answers in t…

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