Increasing the amount of time you spend outside has many benefits for your physical and mental health.
We don’t need a scientific study to confirm that being outside makes us feel better. We crave the connection of being surrounded by nature on a bike ride, running, hiking, or playing with the kids in the yard. Even a short walk around the neighborhood or taking lunch on a park bench leaves us with the feeling of accomplishment and a clearer mind.
But of course, there is also the science behind the euphoria associated with being on the beach, out in the woods, up in the mountains or just simply, experiencing the outdoors. The Nature Scientific Reports journal found that spending at least 2 hours a week outside, exercising or just sitting in a natural surrounding, greatly increases your overall sense of well-being.
Not only does being outside increase satisfaction with your life, but the study cites that benefits to physical health for those that spend the minimum 120 minutes outside are 60 percent more likely to claim good health as compared to people who do not spend any time outdoors.
Improve Your Health With Increased Time Outdoors
Being outdoors brings other benefits than the obvious inclination to become more active. Many people seek to work around the benefits of outdoor exposure with store-bought supplements when the key to unlocking the body’s natural immune system is just on the other side of that door.
Healthy sun exposure is critical to receiving D3 from UVB rays. Optimal levels of D3 play a role in boosting the immune system and preventing disease. Vitamin D exhibits the ability to fight infections, chronic inflammation, colds, and the flu.
Artificial light and screen time can wreak havoc on your eyes. Many studies show that this is especially true for children. Nearsightedness or myopia has dramatically risen over the last few decades and experts point to a lack of time spent outdoors and the increase of a sedentary, indoor lifestyle.
Improved Quality of Sleep
Spending too much time indoors can throw your circadian rhythm out of whack. Circadian rhythm is like your body’s biological clock that is attuned to the schedule of the sun. Findings from Preventive Medicine show that exposure to green spaces and the outdoor environment increase the quality of sleep. With better sleep, we have more energy during the day to do things like...spending time outdoors!
Ways To Increase Time Outdoors
For those who lead a life enjoying the outdoors, the benefits are an afterthought and self-serving. They are happy because they spend time outside and they are outside because they are happy. Keep them inside too long and the agitation becomes obvious and they need to get out.
But for those who seek to increase outdoor time and raise the quality of their life, here are a few suggestions.
Plant a Garden
Talk about a double whammy for how to lead a healthier life, gardening gets you active outside and provides a deep connection to the food you eat.
Build a Horseshoe Pit
Got a little stretch of unused space in the backyard? Put in a horseshoe pit for a great outdoor activity for family and friends to enjoy. Rather than heading to the basement to throw some darts with buddies, chuck some shoes around the yard.
Get In The Swing
Who doesn’t get a big old smile when they see a tree swing?
Take Sunset/Sunrise Photos
For those who live at the beach or around water have a bit more bang for the buck on this one but everyone can gain motivation to get outdoors by chasing pics of the sun in its most photogenic moments. Take a walk outside with your phone and capture the first or last light of the day. Your social media friends will thank you.