Spending time outside can be a real challenge. In the winter, the cold weather will likely keep you huddled up inside, while in the summer, you may prefer to relax in front of the TV after a long day at work.
However, spending at least a little time each day outside can greatly increase your mental and physical health in ways you may not expect.
It Makes Exercising Easier
It seems fairly intuitive that the outdoors would make exercising easier. Going for a quick jog around the neighborhood or taking a long walk with a friend on a nature trail takes a lot less effort than packing a gym bag and spending the better part of an hour on a treadmill.
All that is true, but there’s much more to how the outdoors can make exercising easier.
According to a 2011 study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, exercise is actually perceived to be much easier when you’re outside. People walking on an outdoor track moved faster, felt like they were exerting themselves less, and felt more positive about the exercise experience than people who walked on an indoor treadmill, even though they did the same amount of exercise.
It Will Make You a Happier Person
Happiness is an ever-elusive feeling that we’re all chasing after, but getting a happiness boost could be as easy as going outside. This simple principle is one of the reasons why Outdoorsy was created.
Although researchers don’t necessarily understand why the outdoors has the ability to make us happier, the results of multiple studies are indisputable:
- Stress reduction: Being outside creates a sense of calm that can actually reduce your heart rate. Some outdoor scents, like pine, have even been shown to lower depression and anxiety.
- Elevated mood: Natural sunlight has been shown to elevate people’s moods, while physical activities outside have been shown to help people relax and cheer up.
- Boost your creativity: By disconnecting from technology and spending time outside, you can increase your attention span and enhance problem solving capabilities.
It’s a Great Way to Get Vitamin D
Did you know, according to WebMD, that up to 75 percent of people are deficient in vitamin D? How is that possible?
Vitamin D is not like other vitamins that can be found in abundance in the foods we eat. Instead, nearly all of the vitamin D in our bodies comes from exposure to sunlight. Because so many of us spend the majority of our days indoors, our vitamin D levels suffer.
Simply standing outside and soaking up some vitamin D can:
- Enhance bone growth
- Enhance cell growth
- Reduce inflammation
- Increase neuromuscular function
- Increase immune function
These are all great reasons to head outside, but at the end of the day, spending time outdoors is simply a lot of fun! Even just 10 to 15 minutes a day soaking up the sun can be enough to change your life for the better.