We all know going outside is good for us in some way or another, but the benefits of being outside are more numerous than you think.
These great benefits range from improving your mental health to strengthening your immune system.
Spending time outside can improve your mental and physical health. Being outside is even better when it’s combined with exercises, walks, or longer hikes.
This article will inspire you to spend more time outside. Getting out of the house is one of the best habits you can develop.
Being outside is good for exercise, your mind, and there are various practical benefits to being outside.
1 Vitamin D
Taking time out of your busy life to receive daily sun exposure helps your body get enough vitamin D. Sun exposure is the best way of receiving vitamin D.
An estimated 40% of U.S. men and women are vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to scary health implications like osteoporosis, cancer, heart attacks, and even strokes.
The skin can produce only a limited amount of vitamin D at one time, and too much UV exposure increases skin cancer risk. More time in the sun isn’t always better for you.
Various factors influence vitamin d intake from the sun including skin tone, geographic location, weather conditions, time of year, and time of day.
What are Phytoncides, and why should you care about them? Well, they are airborne chemicals produced by plants you would find outside.
They increase our levels of white blood cells, helping us combat diseases and infections.
You will find from reading this post that sunlight keeps showing up again and again. Sunlight has a lot of benefits!
Sunlight can energize helpful cells in your immune system called T cells which can battle infection.
Sunlight will also help you sleep better. According to Stanford Medicine, evidence suggests more time outside increases your sleep quality.
Early morning sunlight in particular seems to help people get to sleep at night. Daily exposure to sunlight may be more important as you age because older people often have trouble sleeping.
If you are older, spend more time outside in the morning and see if it helps you sleep.
Simply stepping outside for a while each day can do so much good for the health of your eyes. Being outside is especially good for those suffering from Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS).
If you have kids, then you should give them plenty of time outdoors. Have a part of the day dedicated to going outdoors with your kids.
It is easier than getting them to eat their veggies, and being outside will preserve their vision later on.
More evidence shines a light on the connection between vision and the outdoors. A Canadian study found that spending time in nature greatly reduces the risk of myopia, also known as nearsightedness.
A study in 2017 found that children with ADHD scored higher on a test of concentration after a walk through a park. Going on a walk through the neighborhood or downtown had lower results.
Nature is often quiet, and you can become free from the objects of distraction like your tv, or computer.
Nature engages your attention by giving you a little peace and quiet. A natural environment can help you refocus, which also makes nature a great place to clear your head.
Another one of the benefits of being outside is Creativity. Since you are disconnected from technology and social media, you are giving your mind a vacation from its daily grind.
Since your mind is outside of its normal routine, you can find yourself having new ideas.
Subjects scored 50 percent higher on creativity tests after spending a few days in the wild.
Want to wake your mind and body up from its groggy slumber? Well instead of drinking a bunch of coffee try going on an early morning walk. Spending 20 minutes in the open air gives your brain an energy boost comparable to one cup of coffee.
In one small study, researchers had cyclists pedal in front of green, grey, and red video footage. Cyclists who exercised in front of the green footage reported feeling less physical exertion and more positive moods.
Going outside amongst the green trees, bushes, and other plants might give you an added psychological energy boost to your workout.
While there are positive physical affects for being outside, there are also Mental pluses for the outdoors. Reduced stress is one of the benefits of being outside.
A series of studies have shown being outdoors lowered levels of cortisol, a hormone indicating stress.
You could stop and smell the roses, not just because it’s a cheesy old saying. Stopping to smell the roses makes you more relaxed.
Research shows that natural scents like roses, pine, and freshly cut grass make you feel calmer and more relaxed. Be careful of your allergies though, and look out for any bees!
Did you know that Cleaning and greening efforts have been shown to reduce overall neighborhood crime by 13%? Also, these efforts reduce nearby residents’ feelings of depression by 41%?
Going outside away from it all in nature carries an equal or greater effect on people’s depression.
Research indicates after-surgery recovery benefits for people who spend their time outside.
A study done in 2005 with spinal surgery patients found a connection between natural light and their health. Those who were exposed to natural light were less stressed and they even took fewer pain medications during recovery.
Sunlight helps keep your serotonin levels up.
In an interview with National Geographic, author Florence Williams discussed an experiment she conducted on herself. She kept track of her happiness over a year-long period.
She found that her happiness increased noticeably when she was spending more time outside.
12 Brain power
Being outside helps your cognitive abilities. A 2015 [study] found being outside helps with effective cognitive thinking overall. Being outside “decreases anxiety, rumination, negative affects, and increase positive affects.”
Spending time outside can be socially stimulating. There is less distraction because it’s just some people and nature.
Walks are a great way to get to know people better, and walking puts your mind in the perfect place to have an engaging discussion.
The benefits of being outside are good for both your mind and body. Keep these benefits in mind the next time you go on a walk, and let this info inspire you to spend more time outside.
Make some time out of your day to go on walks, and make sure your kids get outside more often. Want to do more than just walks? Check out my article – how to start hiking and backpacking.