5 Science-Based Reasons to Head Outdoors
Inflammation is our body’s way of responding to threats, whether it’s from injury, illness, or diet. When our body is in a heightened sense of stress and inflammation for a longer period of time it will effect our overall health, including heart health.
Heading outdoors and being in nature has been shown to reduce inflammation, particularly if you are able to get out and spend time in a forest or area with trees.
Boost your mood
As the days gets longer and we have more sunshine than rain or snow with spring time, head outside to get a daily dose of sunshine. Vitamin D, also known as he “sunshine vitamin” play a number of roles in the body from bone health and muscle function to boosting your immune system and mood.
Our bodies can make synthesize vitamin D from being out in the sunshine. Heading outside for a walk or enjoy some fresh air will allow your body to boost it’s vitamin D levels and can uplift your mood. Be sure to wear sunscreen if you’re planning to be outside during midday or when the sun is strongest.
Feeling stressed at your desk? One study found that office workers who had a view of nature out the window had lower levels of stress. Being out in nature, particularly walking in a forest or among trees can reduce your heart rate and cortisol levels in your body.
Even if you don’t have a forest nearby for a stress-reducing stroll, just spending time outside on your lunch break can help reduce stress.
If you feel like you’re struggling to focus on a task and your attention seems to wander, head outdoors. Studies find that being in the natural environment is restorative and can help you find your focus and improve concentration on tasks afterwards.
Head outside for a walk in the fresh air and nature if you notice your focus wane. If that isn’t an option, try gazing out a window with a view of nature to give your mind a break and allow you to refocus on the task at hand.
Make your workouts seem less like work
Best of all, exercising outside can be more fun. When people exercise outside, especially in nature, they may find their workouts last longer and they don’t feel like they’re, well, working hard.
You’re more likely to stick with exercises you find fun. Exercise routines are more likely to stick when they’re fun. Studies have shown that people who enjoy activities like jogging or walking enjoy it more when doing it outside and often exercise for longer and are more willing to repeat the exercise, building a routine.