The benefits of spending time outside are well known and yet often overlooked. Spending time outdoors is a great way to improve your physical and mental health and boost fitness and confidence. In this post you will learn 4 reasons why you should spend time outside.
Time spent outside usually includes some form of physical activity. Bicycling, swimming, and walking are all popular outdoor activities which have excellent benefits for your body and mind. While indoor exercise also has it’s benefits, outdoor exercise is proven to be far healthier. Studies have shown that indoor pollutants are between 2 and 5 times higher than outdoor pollutants, and people who work out indoors have poorer mental health than those who work out outdoors. In addition to that, exercising outdoors is more enjoyable and you have the added benefits of stress reduction and vitamin D.
2. Increased Happiness and Emotional Stability
Numerous studies have linked feelings of happiness and energy with exposure to nature. People who spend time in nature feel more positively about the world and themselves than their indoor-dwelling counterparts. It has been proven that walking beside lakes or rivers improves emotional health and that being in nature in general increases activity in the parts of the brain associated with emotional stability. Research shows that even indoor plants or images of nature can have positive effects on a persons mood.
3. Reduced Levels of Stress and Depression
A Japanese study revealed that spending time in nature significantly reduces stress and depression. Urban environments show increased activity in areas of the brain responsible for feelings of anxiety and fear while natural environments show the opposite. Studies have also been done linking scents found outdoors to positive feelings. The scent of fresh pine have been shown to lower depression, while the scents of flowers such as lilacs and jasmine have been proven to increase relaxation.
4. Increase in Energy
A walk in the park has proven to be as effective as a cup of coffee and has the ability to increase your energy, reduce stress, and lift your mood. Urban environments can cause mental fatigue and exhaustion. Television, computers, and smartphones are all cause for mental drain and lack of energy. Spending time in nature lets the cognitive portion of your brain rest and recharge, resulting in improved concentration and increased energy levels.