Pemigewassett Wilderness, White Mountain Nat’l Forest, NH

Do you ever get that feeling that you just need to get outside and head for the hills? Go for a hike? Hit the beach? Climb a mountain? Get lost in the woods?

I do. It happens all the time. I need nature, plain and simple. I need to get outside, run around, scan the trees for birds and the meadows for deer, even skip a rock or two. Many of us do. But why? What is it about the great outdoors that beckons us?

We’ve all got our reasons, and just needing nature in itself counts as one of them. But interestingly, as some recent studies have suggested, we need nature because it is good for us – and our bodies know it. It’s in our genes.

Moreover, it turns out that what is good for the planet is good for us, and vice versa. Not bad.

Paul Bloom of the New York Times, Wray Herbert of Newsweek, and Andrea Thompson of LiveScience help to explain why.

Okay – that’s enough time at the computer for now. I’m heading out for a hike. Bellevale Mountain, NY, here I come!