7 Reasons to spend more time outdoors

There are several ways in which time spent outside improves both physical and emotional health. You don’t need to remain outside for long periods of time to reap these benefits. Time spent outside has benefits for both the mind and the body. People who get plenty of fresh air and sunshine report feeling less anxious and more motivated to work out.
It’s simpler than you would think to organise your life such that you spend more time outside. Seven benefits of spending more time outdoors in natural light and fresh air include the following:

1. Restful sleep

Your body’s circadian rhythm often causes you to be alert throughout the day and tired in the evening, just like the sun does. Therefore, natural light has a greater impact on your circadian rhythm than artificial lighting. Most people’s circadian rhythms are synchronised with the sun, such that we are awake when the sun is up and begin to feel sleepy as the day progresses. Getting some sun before bed can help you nod off faster and have a more restful night’s sleep. Spending time outside won’t set you back a dime. To obtain your daily dose, all you have to do is go outside.

2. Breathing better

Air pollution can cause allergies, asthma, and other respiratory disorders. However, spending more time in natural green places may help reduce your risk of respiratory issues. People with the most greenery in their neighbourhoods were 34% less likely to die from respiratory disorders than those with the least greenery. The freshest air is usually found in areas with good air movement. Camping in an open field, for example, may provide greater pollution relief than resting near a river surrounded by skyscrapers and industrial.

3. Increased motivation to exercise

Working out in green spaces may help you stay motivated. You don’t have to participate in a triathlon or ski down a mountain to enjoy outdoor exercise. Gardening, playing with your dog at the park, or cleaning your car are all activities that can get your body moving in a way that is manageable for you.

Outdoor exercise can:

• Provide a refreshing alternative from gyms and make physical activity more engaging and pleasurable.
• Make it simpler to socialize, as many gyms have implicit rules about talking to the person on the treadmill next to yours.

Those who walk outside tend to exercise more intensely and report less exertion.

4. Reduced symptoms of depression

Sunlight can typically help alleviate depression symptoms such as exhaustion and low mood. Both serious depression and seasonal depression can benefit from sunlight therapy. Spending time outside helps lower your blood pressure and levels of stress-related hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. Spending time in the forest, on the beach, or at a neighbourhood park, for example, can be peaceful.

Experts are still unsure how sunlight impacts depression. Some individuals feel that sunshine has a protective impact because it helps your body manufacture vitamin D. It’s also likely that exposure to sunlight enhances sleep, which lessens the severity of depression symptoms. Sunlight helps our bodies manufacture vitamin D, which improves our immune system and bone health, among other things.

5. Boost your immune function

Many microorganisms found outside are less common inside. Non-dangerous bacteria and other organisms can help your immune system prepare to fight illnesses. This is due to the fact that air circulation can dilute the presence of viruses in the air. Non-dangerous microorganisms found in nature can act as practise drills for your immune system, helping it prepare for more serious diseases. If you live in a fully sterile environment, your immune system may lose its ability to distinguish between what is and is not dangerous. It may then activate a red alert for every microbe it encounters, which can result in persistent inflammation.

6. Mental restoration

The world is full of distracting stimuli that need your attention. Your stress levels could increase as a result of this constant overstimulation without your awareness. On the other side, nature can be a place of mental and emotional solace when you need to relax and rejuvenate. Nature offers soothing sensory experiences that can retain your attention without taxing your brain, such as the scent of flowers or the music of birdsong.
When you take the time to observe your surroundings, being in nature can help you feel more at ease and focused. Consider engaging in leisurely, reflective activities like kayaking on a dam or river or hiking in the forest to reap these advantages.

7. Improved emotional well-being

Spending time outside has benefits beyond just easing unpleasant feelings like fear, worry, and melancholy. Additionally, it could support the development of positive feelings like optimism, happiness, and tranquilly. The experience of being outside at night can also make you feel in awe of and connected to the earth. Additionally, the reduction in light and noise may make it simpler for you to concentrate on your surroundings. Consider nocturnal activities like stargazing or night fishing if you’d like to establish a more profound or spiritual connection with the natural world at night.

In conclusion, it’s easy to forget that there’s a whole other world outside your window at times, but it’s there all the same. Developing a routine in which you spend time regularly outside, particularly in natural settings, can do a lot to improve both your physical and emotional well-being. It also has the potential to go a long way towards enhancing your connection with the planet or even with Mother Nature herself.

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