Why You Should Be Spending More Time Outdoors

Springtime is the perfect time to get out of your house and enjoy the sunshine. You’ll feel better after spending some time outside.

There are many good reasons to go out more often. Some being improved health and well-being, reduced stress, slowed heart rate, boosted mood and lowered blood pressure. You don’t need to be always in nature to get these benefits. Even if you’re indoors, you can still enjoy them by spending some time outside every now and then.

Going outside helps improve your overall health and well being. You’ll feel more motivated to exercise if you’re out in nature. Green spaces and bodies of water give you access to a variety environments that can motivate you to stay active. You should try to get some time off every day to relax. Your mind needs to rest sometimes. Just taking a walk outside can be relaxing.

As the number of hours of sunlight increases, make sure to get out in nature as much as possible. Spending time outdoors can improve your physical and mental health. It can also help you feel better about yourself.

Improving Mental Health

When you can, make an effort to spend time in a truly natural environment to relax and reduce stress. In Japan, this concept is known as forest bathing , which involves exposing yourself to the sights and sounds of the forest. This practice has been shown to elicit relaxation, lower cortisol levels, slow pulse rates, and reduce blood pressure.

Forest bathing is a relaxing activity that helps relieve stress. Spending time in the woods reduces stress hormones that in turn, gives you a better quality of life.

Psychologists have studied the effects on mental and emotional health of nature, and found that the presence of nature helps strengthen a child’s resilience in coping with stress and adversity – particularly among children growing up in high-stress environment. Spending time in nature improves mental health. Plus, there are no unwanted side effects from doing so.

Reduce Stress Levels

Girl Eating Apple Outdoors
Image: A lady having an apple outdoors.

Taking a walk in nature helps reduce stress. This is because walking in nature puts us into a meditative state. We feel more relaxed and less stressed.

Forest bathing reduces cortisol levels in the body, lowers blood pressure and heart rate and improves mood. Walking in forests also reduces stress and anxiety.

Improve Breathing Habits

When we are stressed out or anxious, our breathing patterns change. When we breathe deeply, it allows oxygen to enter our lungs and carbon dioxide to leave them. As a result, we feel calmer and happier.

When we spend time in nature, we tend to take deep breaths. Our breath becomes slower and deeper. This makes us feel calmer and more at peace.

Confidence Booster

Nature inspires self-confidence. Being surrounded by greenery makes people feel more positive and optimistic.

The natural world provides an abundance of beauty, which makes us feel good about ourselves. The beauty of nature motivates us to do things like work harder, study harder, and even achieve more.

Helps Lower Blood Pressure

Walking in nature reduces your heart rate and blood pressure.

In one study, students who spent time in the forest had lower levels of inflammation than those who spent time in the city. In another, elderly patients who had been sent on a weeklong trip into the forest showed reduced signs of inflammation. There were some indications that the woodsy jaunt had a positive effect on those patients’ hypertension levels as well.

In another study , researchers found a decrease in both the heart rates and levels of cortisol of participants who spent time in the forest compared to those in the city.  

Gives You Creative Energy

Nature therapy boosts creativity. People who spend time outside do better on tests than those who stay inside. It appears that exposure to nature increases cognitive flexibility, allowing for new ways of thinking.

Several studies published by the Journal of Environmental Psychology demonstrated that spending time outdoors for as little as 20 minutes per day makes people feel more alive. This makes perfect sense, since nature is alive, with trees and critters and the elements. Your environment rubs off on you, so being in the presence of so much life makes you more conscious of the life inside each and every human being.

Helps You Stay Active

In the U.S., one-third of adults are obese. Obesity can be extremely detrimental to overall physical health and has a strong link to high blood pressure and heart disease . While there are many factors that contribute to our obesity epidemic, getting outdoors in nature and being physically active can help.

When you go outside, you naturally move more. It comes with the territory. People who get more sun tend to be more physically active than others. Those who exercise outside burn more calories than those using indoor equipment.

Mind & Body Energy Booster

Walking outside is an excellent way to boost your energy. You’ll be more alert and less tired. Nature is fuel for the soul, so when you’re feeling down, going for a walk will give you a lift.

If you’re feeling sluggish, you can try taking a hike. Hiking gives you plenty of opportunities to stretch your legs and use up all that stored energy. Furthermore, hiking is great exercise because it’s low impact and does not strain your joints as much as other high impact activities. 

Helps with Memory and Focus

Kid Coloring
Image: A mom watching her kid coloring.

ADHD is a condition that makes people unable to concentrate. Walking around in green areas helps improve concentration because it stimulates the brain.

Being in nature improves memory because it allows for increased mental stimulation. When you’re walking through a park or along a trail, you’re constantly thinking about what you see. That constant activity keeps your mind sharp.

Doses of nature might be a safe, inexpensive, and widely available new tool in the toolkit for managing ADHD symptoms. Research showed that interacting with nature, including walking in the park, improved memory and attention, regardless of the season.

In one study, University of Michigan students were given a brief memory test, then divided into two groups. One group took a walk around an arboretum, and the other took a walk down a city street. When the participants returned and did the test again, those who had walked among trees did almost 20% percent better than they had first time. The people who had taken in city sights instead did not consistently improve.

Final Words

Nature and being outdoors is good medicine. Most of us are cooped up at home or in our offices for most of the day. We need to find time to get ourselves connected to nature and the outdoors. If you want to live longer, healthier, happier lives, spend some time outside. It will do wonders for your body and spirit.

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