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Health benefits of being outside

Research shows that spending time outdoors in beneficial to your mental and physical health. Whether it is a stroll in a park or down a busy city street, just being outside supports an active and healthy lifestyle. Any physical activity can help manage your weight, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and make your bones and muscles stronger.

If you don’t like exercising, it might be time that you consider doing something outdoors that you enjoy, whether it is walking every day, dancing, yoga, running, or simply stretching exercises. Let’s look at some of the health benefits of simply spending time outdoors.

Helps you get exercise

You don’t have to join a gym or purchase expensive equipment to get exercise. Simply walking outside is exercise. You can do some gym exercises at your local park by simply briskly walking an incline. The push of the wind and the uneven ground can help you vary your workout and burn more calories.

It benefits your mood and mental health

Every time we step outside we encounter something new that we have never observed before. New experiences activate the reward system in our brain, which elevates the brain chemical dopamine and improves creative thinking.

There is evidence that being outside enhances memory and cognition. A recent study of nearly 62 million older adults found that those who lived near green space had much lower rates of hospitalization for Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and other forms of dementia.

Vitamin D and immunity boost

Vitamin D is very important for the health of your bones, blood cells, muscles and immune system. It also helps your body absorb calcium and phosphorus. To make vitamin D your body needs sunlight. Better vitamin D production is also good for your immune system.

The outdoors also seems to help in other ways, since plants put substances, including organic compounds called phytoncides, into the air that seem to boost immune function. Sunlight also seems to energize special cells in your immune system called T cells that help fight infection.

Just strolling in the sun for 5 to 15 minutes in the summer will allow your body to make vitamin D. However, be aware that over-exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun can cause skin cancers, so be sure to wear sunscreen.

Lessens anxiety

Exercise is also good for anxiety. Get out of your room and into the sunlight. It will keep your serotonin levels up that help raise your energy and keeps your mood positive, focussed and calm.


When you get outside your house you tend to also connect more with the people and places in your community. Human or social connections and a sense of belonging are vital to our mental and physical health. Spending time outdoors offers an opportunity to connect with others in your community.

After a busy week in the office plan a walking route to a friend’s house, and include going to a park to do some exercise. You can even plan to walk to a local coffee shop and chat to the locals.

Studies show that people who socialise experience lower rates of anxiety and depression, obesity and diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Good social relationships are also important to healthy aging. Small interactions, even with strangers, are known to boost health and well-being.

Sleep improves

Being out in the sun in the morning can help optimize sleep at night, since sunlight regulates the release of the hormone melatonin, which helps pace the body’s circadian rhythms. Being outdoors early morning walking or biking sets a healthy body clock and boosts your sleep cycle. Cells in your eyes need enough light to get your body’s internal clock working right. This may be more important as you age. When you’re older, your eyes are less able to absorb light, and you’re more likely to have problems with sleep.

You’ll feel better about yourself

Just spending 5 minutes outdoors can help improve your self-esteem. This is especially true if you’re near water or green space. This does not mean you have to do high-intensity exercise, a simply relaxed activity like a walk, bike ride, or work in the garden can work just as well.

Boosts your creativity

Studies show that time in nature can boost your creative problem-solving abilities. This could be because the outside world engages your attention in a quieter way that lets your attention refocus. The more time you spend outdoors, the bigger the benefit. If you are battling with something, getting out for some air allow you to see the problem in another perspective and nudge your brain into a new thought pattern.

Weight control

Not only with spending outdoor help you be more active and sleep better, but it will also help you burn calories. Getting out and taking a brisk walk can help you keep the fat off. That’s partly because the light helps balance your sleep and energy use which in turn will burn fat.  


In conclusion, getting out does have health benefits, but you should also be aware of the damage the sun can do. Protect yourself from the sun by wearing long sleeves, sunglasses, and a hat. Don’t forget the SPF 15 or higher sunscreen, even when it’s cloudy. Always inform you family members where you are going, especially if you are going alone. Make sure you phone is charged in case of an emergency. Just remember that your phone may not work in some areas, especially in the forest.

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