7 Benefits of Spending Time Outdoors
We live in a fast-paced age whereby things happen so fast that it becomes hard to keep an account of everything. At one time you are busy preparing your kids for school and at another time you are helping them do their homework and cooking their meals. At the workplace, you find yourself spending hours behind the desk or in an enclosed area. All of these things happen indoors. The problem is that we’ve little time interacting with nature or meeting actual people.
According to a survey, most people spend only 7% of their natural life indoors while 87% is spent inside a building. The remaining percentage represents automobile and other moving machines. The problem with spending time indoors is that there are more pollutants and so the chances of taking in toxins are high. So, you are likely to suffer from different health complications. The outdoors, however, is safer. Air is refined and purified naturally.
The outdoors provides you with a holistic treatment approach that improves your physical, psychological, and emotional wellbeing. As a matter of fact, spending time outside is highly associated with a reduced risk for early death. So, you have the power to impact your health and life more positively.
What Does it Mean to Spend Time Outdoors?
You may argue that you are really busy in life and thus you rarely have time to spend in the outdoors. However, you don’t have to spend half a day outside to be okay. Even five minutes of interacting with nature are acceptable for a day. Whether it’s to enjoy fresh air or the sun, it’s all worth it. Here are some creative ways of spending time outside:
- Take a rest on your pouch as you read something interesting
- Answer some of your phone calls outside
- Take your family, especially the kids, for a walk
- Take your dog out for a walk
- Have an occasional eat out
- Find an outdoor hobby like hiking or photography that you can do
- Spend your lunch break outside
- Attend to your home garden when free
After doing all the above, you may ask, “then what?” Well, spending time outdoors comes with some amazing benefits. Here are the top 7:
- Reduces Stress
So often, we get stressed by things that we don’t have control over at all. Actually, stress does not solve anything but it just wears your brain and body. One way to reduce stress is to get distracted and the outdoors is the perfect distraction you can get.
- Better Mood
The outdoors doesn’t just lower your stress level but also improves your mood. Simply, you become happier. Wondering how? Studies show that your mood assumes a positive shift each time you go to the outdoors. Instead of having a negative mindset about life, you start appreciating nature and this makes you happy. In the end, your mood shifts from negative to positive. If you learn to go outside more often, then you are likely to overcome anxiety and depression as the two conditions are highly linked to bad moods.
- Improved Memory
It’s not easy to think clearly when you are in a closed place. According to research, your brain needs to be ‘freed’ to think much better. This is not literal. It means allowing your mind not to be confined within the walls of a room. The outdoors is known to trigger the power of recall. Simply, you are able to remember small details, more so things that happened recently. Basically, your short-term memory becomes improved. With this in mind, it helps to go out for a breather when you feel like you are forgetting some things.
- Sharp Focus
Just like the outdoors will help you forget about the things that worry you and to improve your short-term memory, it also helps you to concentrate and solve issues. Simply, you’ll have a better focus on life. One study found that the outdoors improve focus in kids suffering from ADHD. So, it’s important to take a walk when you can’t focus properly as it may help speed things up. Since nature is characterized by small details, your mind is forced to notice them. By doing so, your natural concentration abilities improve.
- More Vitamin D
Spending time outside, especially under the sun, will help you manufacture vitamin D. You need the vitamin for a number of health functions. For example, you require it for the growth and development of bones. It helps to strengthen the bones and to avoid diseases that attack them. You also need vitamin D for an immune boost. This is important when dealing with chronic illnesses like cancer and acute infections like flue and cold. Lastly, vitamin D is important in avoiding skin pigmentation. The vitamin helps your skin maintain its natural complexion.
- Eye Health
You probably know that it’s unhealthy for you to stare at a computer or a TV screen for hours. Such light may result in irreversible damage to your eyes. The secret is to use a part of that time to go out. There, you’ll be able to focus your eyes on things that are quite far. This will improve your eye sharpness. In this case, you are able to avoid a condition like myopia. Your eye muscles are properly exercised and are able to relax more naturally.
- Natural Immunity
Lastly, the outdoors has some amazing benefits for your immunity. One recent finding shows that you are able to boost your world blood cells (WBC) count by almost 40% when you spend time in the outdoors. The WBCs are the cells responsible for defending you against infections. So, a high WBC count means an enhanced immunity. You also need sunlight to achieve pain relief. It’s able to reduce the need to use pain relievers.
It generally doesn’t take much to spend time in the outdoors, but it could prolong your life and help you enjoy it. This is according to the discussed benefits. So, it’s never debatable if you should spend time outside. It’s a question of how often. Well, the answer is as often as possible. Besides, we’ve seen how you can do it in a more enjoyable fashion.