5 Benefits of Getting Outdoors

Posted on 2023-10-10
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We know instinctively that spending time outdoors is a good thing. And yet, the average American spends nearly 93% of their time indoors, isolated from the natural world and the benefits of being immersed in it.  Don’t do that, if you’re able, because you’re depriving yourself optimal health.

Here are five important health benefits to be derived from spending quality time outdoors:

Exercise.  Less time in front of the computer, television and other sedentary activities. More time walking, swimming, hiking, climbing, and other activities that put your body in healthy motion.  According to the research, it’s also better in the long term, because people who exercise outside are more likely to stick with a sustained routine than people who exercise indoors.

Relaxation.  According to extensive studies, it only takes five minutes to experience the relaxing effects of nature, helping to reduce anger, fear and stress while increasing pleasant feelings of well-being.  Think of nature as a mental and emotional refuge where you can unwind and recharge.  When you need a larger boost, it can also help combat depression, especially if developed into a good, consistent habit.

Improved concentration.  Studies clearly show that spending time outdoors can improve creative thinking and help people focus better (such as children with ADHD).

Lowered risk of heart disease and high blood pressure.  Compared to people who spend time indoors and/or in congested cities, studies show that people who spend more time in the forests and wilderness settings generally have lower blood pressure, lower cortisol levels and a healthier pulse.

More Vitamin D.  Sunlight on your skin begins a process that leads to the creation and activation of Vitamin D.  Studies suggest that just 15 – 20 minutes of sunlight exposure per day can help your body create the Vitamin D needed to promote vitamin absorption, strengthen bones and may even help to prevent specific types of cancer.  The added sunlight can also help improve your sleep.

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