The more green space you’ve got nearby, the less likely you are to experience a stroke. At least, that is the finding of a new large-scale study.
Green space can do a lot for your heart. It can encourage exercise, relaxation, and fresh air. It can also foster get-togethers and enjoyable conversation.
On the other hand, concrete city blocks often breed noise, pollution, and stress.
There’s no question that green space is a luxury. But if you’re within driving distance of a park or garden, it may be worth visiting a few times per week.
The study used data from nearly 250,000 Medicare beneficiaries ages 65 and older that lived in Miami-Dade County in 2010 and 2011. The records were paired with satellite imagery recording measures of a neighborhood’s “greenness.”
Results showed that people in the greenest areas had a 20 percent lower stroke risk compared to those in the least green.
Two of the biggest benefits of green space may be stress relief and that they promote exercise. Previous research has shown that spending time in a garden, park, backyard, or other “green areas” can be a great stress reliever. Parks and gardens are also generally lined with paths, and it is common to see plenty of people strolling along them.
These components play a significant role in heart health and stroke risk.
Seeking out and utilizing the green spaces near your home may help improve blood pressure and make things easier on your heart. With spring underway and temperatures warming, it’s a good time to start taking advantage of the natural environment.
Find a spot you enjoy, make it a sanctuary, and your heart and mind will thank you for it.