Have you noticed how you feel after taking a walk outside, spending time in the park, or near water? It makes me feel refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to take on the day! Our bodies crave the outdoors! There are many benefits to spending a little time outside.
Increases Vitamin D intake – Scientists continue to learn more about how important Vitamin D is. It strengthens our immune system to help prevent cancer, hormonal problems, obesity, and inflammation. The best way to get your daily dose of Vitamin D? Sunlight! A study by researchers at Nippon Medical School in Tokyo, Japan found that women who walked in the woods each day for two days experienced increased anti-cancer proteins in their blood, among other positive results, for up to seven days after the study. That’s amazing!
Increases quality of sleep – Our bodies have a natural sleep and hormonal cycle that can get screwed up by the demands of our busy lives. Spending time outside helps the body reset our internal clock that tells us when to eat and sleep. It also helps our hormonal system get back to its normal cycle.
Can ease depression – Want to lower your stress level? Spending time in nature is a great, natural anti-depressant! A study from the University of Michigan found that nature group walks are linked to improved mental health. So… meet up with a friend for a walk in the park, and you’ll both reap the benefits!
Increases focus and fosters creativity – When you’re stuck on a problem, need inspiration or are working through writer’s block, take a walk outside! Exercising outdoors makes the area of your brain that deals with creativity more active. You can go back to work refreshed with those creative juices flowing once again!
Gives us a break from technology – Despite the popularity of Pokemon Go, people typically ditch technology when spending time outside, especially when walking or running is involved. We can let our thoughts wander and just enjoy nature which is a huge stress reliever! Next time you take a walk or run, try unplugging and just listen to the sounds of nature.
Can help you ease into aging – As we age, it’s important that we find the best ways to stay not just healthy, but vibrant! Research shows that baby boomers who spent time outside daily have fewer age-related complaints like sore joints and sleep issues than those who didn’t. It’s nature’s fountain of youth!
How Much Time?
So how much time do you have to spend outside to reap all these amazing benefits? According to the American Chemical Society’s journal Environmental Science & Technology, as little as five minutes! Even if you just take a short break from your busy day to enjoy your back yard, a quick walk around the block, or a short trip to a neighborhood park, it’s time well spent! So get up and go outside!!