Chances are, you do not get outside as much as you should. There just are not enough hours in a day to deal with all of your responsibilities, relax, get a good night’s sleep, and spend a fair amount of time outdoors. Unfortunately, that could cost you. Being outdoors has a myriad of advantages to your physical and mental health. Here are 14 benefits of spending more time outside.
1. It Is A Source Of Vitamin D
Sunlight is responsible for 90% of the necessary dose of vitamin D in our diet. This is important for calcium absorption, our resistance to osteoporosis, and it is also an anti-inflammatory. However, make sure that you are not getting too much sun. Overexposure to UV radiation can lead to skin cancer. Mitigate your risk of a sunburn by using sunscreen or wearing a men’s or women’s visor hats.
2. Improve Your Memory
Nature walks have been shown to boost short-term memory. Participants in a study experienced an increase in memory retention after taking a break outside rather than inside.
3. Reduce Stress
Being outdoors has been linked to lower cortisol and heart rates in the body. Cortisol is often a direct cause of stress, so aim to keep your cortisol level low. Even having a view of nature from a window has been shown to lower stress and increase job satisfaction.
4. Reduce Fatigue
Nature is considered to be a restorative environment. When you are mentally fatigued, exposing the body and mind to the outdoors helps your mental recovery from fatigue. In fact, 20 minutes spent outside is akin to the energy boost you get from drinking a cup of coffee.
5. Help With Mental Issues
Mental issues, such as anxiety, depression, and anger, decrease when spending time in nature. Combining the outdoors with exercise near a body of water will improve both your self-esteem and mood. Additionally, anyone suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, will find its effects lessened when spending time outside.
6. Reduce Pain
In one study, patients recovering from surgery used fewer pain pills when exposed to sunlight than those who did not spend time outdoors.
7. Help Your Eyesight
Outdoor activity has a positive effect on eyesight. High amounts of outdoor time reduces the rate of nearsightedness by half.
8. Reduce Blood-Pressure
Going on long walks can lower blood pressure by at least 2% and decreases your pulse by almost 4%.
9. Focus Better
As mentioned earlier, the outdoors is restorative, which can also apply towards improving your attention span. It is especially helpful for those with ADHD.
10. Helps You Sleep
Adults who spend a significant time outdoors sleep better at night and experience a decrease in general aches and pains in the morning.
11. It Makes It Easier To Exercise
People who exercise outside are less likely to experience exhaustion and feel less physical exertion in general compared to those who did the same workout indoors.
12. Lower Your Cancer Risk
Spending time in a forest might stimulate anti-cancer cells. It is hard to sift through all the data, but people living in areas with higher forest coverage experience lower cancer rates than other areas.
13. Improve Your Immune System
Forest greenery is not only good for cancer, but it will also help out with other viruses, such as the flu, colds, and infections.
14. Increase Your Life Expectancy
All these factors added together indicate that living close to a green space and spending time outside adds up, leading to a longer life.
As you can see, spending time outdoors in nature is important. We humans often get so wrapped up in the modern world that we do not take the time to appreciate what is outside. Even a short dose of nature 20 minutes a day can have a significant impact on your overall health.