Nature walks boost brain power and mood

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Nature Walks Boost Brain Power and Mood

A new study provides more proof being outdoors is good for you not only physically -- but mentally as well.

Researchers at Stanford University asked two groups of people to take a 90-minute walk -- one through a natural area one along a busy street.

Afterward, their brains were scanned.

Those that took the nature walk showed decreased activity in the subgenual prefontal cortex -- an area of the brain associated with negative self-reflection.

Researchers say this shows that going out in nature -- even for a short time -- can lessen the line of thinking often associated with depression and mental illness.

Check out the most-visited parks in the US:
11 PHOTOS
Most visited national parks
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Nature walks boost brain power and mood

10. Glacier National Park, Montana

2,338,528 visitors in 2014

(Photo via Shutterstock)

9. Acadia National Park, Maine

2,563,129 visitors in 2014

(Photo via Shutterstock)

8. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

2,791,392 visitors in 2014

(Photo via Shutterstock)

7. Zion National Park, Utah

3,189,696 visitors in 2014

(Photo via Shutterstock)

6. Olympic National Park, Washington

3,243,872  visitors in 2014

(Photo via Shutterstock)

5. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

3,434,751 visitors in 2014

(Photo via Shutterstock)

4. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming/Montana/Idaho

3,513,484 visitors in 2014

(Photo via Shutterstock)

3. Yosemite National Park, California

3,882,642 visitors in 2014

(Photo via Alamy)

2. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

4,756,771 visitors in 2014

(Photo via Getty)

1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee/North Carolina

10,099,276 visitors in 2014

(Photo via Shutterstock)

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