We have all heard the phrase “ Get some fresh air!“ but here are 9 great reasons why it really is beneficial for your health.
The Great Outdoors — Nature’s Reset Button — 9 reasons to go outside more
With spring around the corner after a long and miserable winter, it is highly recommended we spend some time outside. Nature offers one of the most reliable boosts to your mental and physical well-being. Here are just 9 of many potential health benefits of spending more time outdoors.
Five fab ways fresh air is fantastic for you
1. Going outside relieves stress: One study found that students sent into the forest for two nights had lower levels of cortisol — a hormone often used as a marker for stress — than those who spent that time in the city. In another study, researchers found a decrease in both heart rate and levels of cortisol in subjects in the forest when compared to those in the city. "Stressful states can be relieved by forest therapy," they concluded.
2. Going outside stimulates creative thinking: researchers at Stanford found that walking boosts creative inspiration. They examined creativity levels of people while they walked versus while they sat. A person’s creative output increased by an average of 60% when walking. The study also found that creative juices continued to flow even when a person sat back down shortly after a walk.
3. Going outside decreases the risk of developing poor vision: Studies show that nearsightedness (myopia) is low among children who go outside more. A new Canadian study shows that for one additional hour of outdoor time per week, the risk a child will develop myopia drops by about 14%.
4. Going outside elevates your Vitamin D levels: This helps fight certain conditions from osteoporosis to heart attacks. It’s also good for bone and cell growth and helps reduce inflammation, say experts.
5. Going outside boosts your immune system: Nature enhances the functioning of our immune system with the help of phytoncides and mycobacterium vaccae. Research has found evidence that spending time in nature provides protections against a startling range of diseases, including depression, diabetes, obesity, ADHD, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and many more.
A further five fab ways fresh air is fantastic follows…
A further four fab ways fresh air is fantastic for you
6. Going outside makes you happy: Being in nature boosts serotonin levels (the ‘feel good’ neurotransmitter)which makes us feel happier. A recent study found that groups of participants who took walks in nature experienced reduced symptoms of depression and enhanced mental well being.
7. Going outside will help you sleep: Exposure to sunlight affects your melatonin and natural circadian rhythm. One study noted that natural sunlight helps set our body’s internal clocks, and that people need to get about 30-60 minutes of exposure to direct sunlight for sleep patterns to improve.
8. Going outside can help you heal: being exposed to natural sunlight can decrease pain and help you heal. Researchers found that spinal surgery patients saw lower levels of both pain and stress after they were exposed to more natural sunlight. In fact, patients exposed to 46% more sunshine took 22% less pain medication per hour.
9. Being outside helps you age better: Another study suggests that getting outside remains just as important as we age. Seventy-year-olds who spent time outdoors daily reported fewer bouts of pain and had less trouble sleeping. They also seemed to show less of a decline in day-to-day activities. Put simply, the outdoors may help us stay healthy later in life.
So when in doubt, head out and about to enjoy nature’s bountiful benefits! Like, share and tag a friend below with a comment about your adventures in the Great Outdoors.
HOW TO SPEND MORE TIME OUTDOORS: 7 WAYS
You might love the idea of going outside, but are not sure you have the time. Or, perhaps you don’t live in an area that you find particularly beautiful. You can still fall in love with the outdoors with these strategies; and even if there’s no national park nearby, you can head to small gardens, university campuses, or other public green spaces for your nature fix.