Benefits of Spending Time Outside

Benefits of Spending Time Outside

One day inside probably won’t hugely affect your health—but it’s not great to constantly stay cooped up. The biggest issue is that entering hibernation mode means you don’t get any exposure to natural light.

Sunlight tends to improve your mood and it helps your body produce vitamin D, which has been shown to help regulate the immune system, reduce inflammation, and more. Sunlight also helps keep your internal body clock on schedule; your circadian rhythm plays a major part in regulating your appetite, sleep schedule, and energy levels. Research has shown that excessive exposure to electric lighting can throw off those internal rhythms.

The health benefits of spending time in nature include:

  • Alleviating the symptoms of depression and anxiety

    • According to a study from the University of Michigan, group nature walks are linked to enhanced mental health. Spending time outside boosts positivity, as well as significantly lower levels of depression and feelings of stress.
  • Improve your outlook and overall well-being

    • If you’re dreading the thought of spending another workout chained to the treadmill, move your run outdoors for a quick burst of happiness. A study from Glasgow University showed that people who walked, biked, or ran in nature had a lower risk of poor mental health than people who worked out indoors.
  • Lowers your risk of poor mental health

    • A study out of the University of Glasgow in Scotland found that people who walked, ran, or biked in nature had a lower risk of developing poor mental health than people who exercised at the gym or at home.

Carving out even 20 minutes per day to spend outside can do your mind and body good. Had a particularly hard day? Grab a friend or your significant other and take a walk for a post-work mood booster.

 Of course, we can’t always find the time to spend hours lounging outside. Luckily, you can still reap some brain-boosting benefits without leaving your house. According to a study in the Korean Journal of Radiology, people who were shown pictures of scenic, natural landscapes had heightened activity in areas of the brain associated with the recall of happy memories compared to people shown urban landscapes.

If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments section below!

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