The Benefits of Getting Outdoors
Do you wonder why buildings have windows? And why do windows open and close? The answer is simple. We, as humans, need the benefits of the natural world, and windows give us that opportunity.
Do you know what’s better than a window that lets you have a peek at the outdoors? The real thing – because the benefits of getting outside are many.
BENEFITS OF GETTING OUTDOORS
Increase Your Energy Level: Step outside and breathe deeply. Do you know what just happened? The fresh air increased the oxygen level in your body, resulting in a surge of energy. Spending time outdoors gives your mind and body a natural energy boost.
Exercise: Combine sunlight and exercise, and you have a recipe for a workout that leaves you feeling better about yourself, happy, and revitalized.
- Bonus – no gym membership needed!
Improve Mental Health: You may have noticed that being outdoors puts you at ease and in a better mood. Research has shown that spending time outdoors reduces stress, depression, and anxiety.
- Several types of therapeutic practices focus on the positive effects of nature:
- Green Space
- Nature Therapy
- Attention Restorative Theory: In a 2009 study, children with ADHD showed significantly better attention performance after spending 20 minutes walking in a park
- “Shinrin-yoku” or “Forest Bathing”
Provides Your Daily Dose of Vitamin D: Why is Vitamin D important? Vitamin D helps the absorption of calcium through your bloodstream, which helps build strong, healthy bones and boosts your immune system.
Less Air Pollution: You may be surprised to learn, but there is such a thing as indoor air pollution, and research has shown that it can be worse than outdoor air pollution.
- Stepping outside and breathing fresh air helps your body release harmful toxins and puts less strain on your lungs.
- Since most of our time is spent indoors, the article Causes and Ways to Reduce Indoor Air Pollution shares ways to minimize the number of pollutants found in your home.
Enhances Creativity: When you’re struggling with an idea or answer to a problem, it’s time to go outside. The calming effect of nature relaxes your thoughts and allows the door to creativity to open.
It’s Social: Getting outdoors is a fantastic way to spend time with friends and meet new people. Grab a friend and enjoy quality time:
- Outdoor hobby or sport
- Walking during your lunch break or an after-dinner stroll
- Have a picnic
- For a more extensive list, Active Outdoors website has created the ultimate list for outdoor activities.
Better Sleep: Do you find yourself staring at the clock all night or drumming your fingers on the mattress? If so, spend more time outside. The natural light helps reset your circadian rhythm or your body’s “clock.”
Fun for the Whole Family: What a great way to reap the benefits of spending time together and getting healthy. Take turns picking the activities. You may find yourself reliving the fun of making mud pies.
It’s Easy to Do:
- Take up photography
- Walk a dog
- Read a book
- Look for shooting stars
- Enjoy a sunrise or sunset
- Stand in the rain
- People watch
- Sketch or paint
Your body craves sunlight, which is why you feel better when you’re outside. Only five to fifteen minutes two to three times a week can make a difference in how you feel.
Remember to dress for the weather, stay hydrated, use sunscreen, and make sure to keep a family or friend in the know about where you go. Now, get out and enjoy the real thing!