Did you know that over 60 percent of adults spend 5 or fewer hours outside each week?
If you’re not spending a lot of time outside, now is a great time to change that. Listed below are 10 reasons why getting outdoors and spending time in nature is great for your physical and mental health.
1. Reduced Stress
Spending time in nature can lower cortisol (a stress hormone) levels and help you feel more at ease. Stuck in an office? Even just looking out a window and seeing nature from afar can have a similar effect.
2. Improved Mood
People who struggle with depression or anxiety see significant improvements when they spend time outdoors regularly. This likely has to do, in part, with the calming effects of nature. Moving around while outside (walking, biking, etc.) can also produce extra endorphins that provide an additional mood boost.
3. Improved Memory
Time outside is great for improving your short-term memory. One study showed that those who walked through the trees did 20 percent better on a memory test than those who walked down city streets.
4. Reduced Inflammation
If you suffer from an inflammatory condition like inflammatory bowel disease or arthritis, try going outdoors regularly. Research has shown that “forest bathing” led to lower levels of inflammation compared to those who spend time in the city.
5. Increased Energy
Don’t reach for another cup of coffee! Get outside and breathe in the fresh air instead. Time outside can give you a nice cognitive energy boost so you can push through that afternoon slump.
6. Improved Vision
Getting outside, especially if you’re also getting away from your computer or phone screen, gives your eyes a much-needed break. It also helps you avoid strain, fatigue, and potential vision issues like nearsightedness.
7. Reduced Blood Pressure
Spending time outdoors is a great way to reduce stress. When your stress levels go down, in many cases, so does your blood pressure. Regularly spending time outside may reduce your risk of dealing with hypertension as you get older.
8. Improved Immune System Function
Time in nature is great for your immune system. When you breathe in the fresh air, expose yourself to the sun and raise your vitamin D, and reduce inflammation, your immune system can work better and fight off foreign invaders more easily.
9. Enhanced Creativity
Not only does it increase your energy when you go outside, but it can also enhance your creativity. If you’re struggling with writer’s block or having trouble coming up with a solution to a problem, take a break and go outdoors.
10. Stronger Relationships
Finally, time in nature can strengthen your relationships. When you’re less stressed, less depressed, and more energized, this can all translate to better relationships with your family and friends.
Get Outdoors Today
Do you want to experience all the benefits nature has to offer? Make a plan to get outside and get some fresh air today!
Want to learn more about how you can improve your health and well-being? Check out this post on boosting your immune system.
Image source: Unsplash