Bird Watching for Good Health

Posted by on Jan 24, 2013 in Blog | Comments Off on Bird Watching for Good Health

What is it about bird watching that so captures the interest of nature-lovers? From a zoological standpoint, birds are generally small, autonomous creatures of mild activity and mild demeanor. Wild birds don’t exhibit the loyalty of a pet dog, nor can you ride them like a horse. Aside from a handful of tropical species, native birds lack color and size to inspire awe and captivate. So what it is? Why has bird watching been reported as favored hobby by over 51.3 million Americans, making it the fastest growing outdoor activity in the nation?

Sandhills Motel is a Nebraska vacation site that knows all too well how bird watching has “taken flight” as an American pastime. We can also attest to the birding health benefits for your body, your soul, and your mind.

Bird Watching Benefits: Physical Health

When you’re inspired to get up off the couch, turn off the bad reality television program you were watching, tie on some tennis shoes, and venture out your front door—you’ve made a significant impact on your activity level for the day. With just these small steps, you’re already making improvements to your overall well-being with physical birding health benefits.

One of the first physical health benefits of birding is the Vitamin D you instantly start receiving when the sun touches your skin. Vitamin D is associated with bone health and immune system function, amongst other things. As you begin your trek to locate various bird species in their natural environment, the beating of your heart, the pumping of your lungs, and the strain in your legs all assist with cardiovascular, respiratory, and muscular system utility.

We don’t claim to be healthcare professionals, but who can argue against the physical health benefits of birding that consists of merely getting outside, breathing fresh air, and going for a hike?

Bird Watching Benefits: Emotional Health

Why is the sound of wild birds singing recorded for playback tapes, CDs, and DVDs that proclaim to relax and improve emotional health? This is simply because the light and cheerful tune of birdsong is calming and stress-reducing.

For those who suffer from anxiety, bird watching is a calming activity in a natural environment that encourages gentle contemplation and peace-of-mind. Spending time in nature has been considered an emotionally healing activity for thousands of years, and the positive effect that animals have on our mindset is undeniable. Perhaps what you need is to get in-tune with nature—to sit quietly and observe those natural moments of grace and simplicity, instead of the everyday go, go, go—in order to change your outlook on life.

Call it meditative, if you wish.

Bird Watching Benefits: Mental Health

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, when you try to learn something new, you’re exercising and improving the overall health of your brain. For memory, successful bird watching calls for repeat identification of birds by their physical attributes. Committing these attributes to memory will help you identify the avian species flitting around your natural environment. It will also provide an excellent gray matter exercise, like bicep curls for your temporal lobes.

In addition, birding calls for cracking open a book and absorbing new scientific and biological information like a school-aged sponge. In other words: you’re never too old to learn something new… so get to the bookstore and star filling your head with interesting ornithological (bird) information!

Nebraska Sandhills Vacation Sites

Due to the exponential growth in avid bird watching that we’ve seen over the years, it feels rather safe to say “if you try it, you’re sure to like it.” Someday, you’re budding interest in birding and its health benefits might bring you to our doorstep—to experience the native avian populations of popular Nebraska vacation sites from the quiet solitude of our Sandhills Motel.