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Heartland America Blog

5 Surprising Health Benefits of Bird Watching

Learn how bird watching can benefit your health!

Bird Watcher's Corner, Personal Care

by Jessie Breheim • March 10, 2023

Bird watching, also known as birding, is an activity that involves observing and identifying birds in their natural habitat. This hobby has been gaining popularity in recent years, and for good reason - it’s good for you! Not only is bird watching an enjoyable pastime, but it also offers a variety of health benefits. Here are five health benefits of bird watching.

bird in tree

1. Reduces Stress and Anxiety

Bird watching can have a calming effect on the mind and body. A study conducted by the University of Exeter found that people who spend time in nature, including bird watching, have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Additionally, the calming bird sounds and beauty of birds in their natural environment can help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.

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2. Improves Mental Health

Bird watching can also have a positive impact on mental health. It provides an opportunity to connect with nature, which has been linked to improved mood, reduced symptoms of depression, and increased feelings of happiness. Additionally, bird watching requires focus and attention, which can help improve cognitive function and memory.

blue bird in tree

3. Increases Physical Activity

Bird watching is a low-impact activity that can be done at any age and fitness level. It can involve walking or hiking to different locations to observe different species of birds. This increases physical activity, which has numerous health benefits, including improved cardiovascular health, weight management, and increased energy levels.

4. Enhances Social Connections

Bird watching can be a social activity that can enhance social connections and reduce feelings of isolation. It provides an opportunity to connect with other bird enthusiasts, attend birding events, and share knowledge and experiences. Social connections have been linked to improved mental and physical health.

couple bird watching together

5. Promotes Environmental Awareness

Bird watching promotes environmental awareness and conservation efforts. Observing birds in their natural habitat can increase understanding and appreciation of the environment, which can lead to actions to protect and preserve natural habitats. Additionally, bird watchers can contribute to citizen science efforts by reporting bird sightings, which can help track bird populations and inform conservation efforts.

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Bird Watching is Fun, Relaxing and Good for You!

In conclusion, bird watching is a hobby that offers numerous health benefits, including reduced stress and anxiety, improved mental health, increased physical activity, enhanced social connections, and promotion of environmental awareness. Whether you are a seasoned birder or just starting out, getting outside and observing the beauty of birds can have a positive impact on your well-being.

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Want to learn more about bird watching?

Read Bird Watching Guide: A Great Hobby for Any Age!

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Tags: bird watching birding health

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