Posted on: 2 August, 2019

Health benefits of spending time outdoors

It’s important to make the effort to get outdoors as often as we can, in a bid to try and reconnect ourselves with what’s really important to our health.

The health benefits that we gain from spending time outside are undeniable. As humans, we naturally thrive amongst nature – but the modern, industrialised world is increasingly disconnecting us from the natural environment surrounding us. It’s important to make the effort to get outdoors as often as we can, in a bid to try and reconnect ourselves with what’s really important to our health.

Our connection to nature

Rekindling our exposure to natural elements is as simple as taking a countryside walk and really noticing the surrounds. Since we’re instinctively drawn towards nature, it shouldn’t be so difficult to surround ourselves with it – but with modern day distractions, it can be easy to forget. Once you’ve taken yourself to a natural environment, do your best to take a mindful approach. Notice the sounds, sights and smells around you – and you’ll soon experience true peace and tranquillity.

Whilst exposing yourself to more natural sunlight and fresh air brings about an instant mood boost and surge in energy, you’ll also feel long-term benefits. Studies have shown that an increased exposure to nature helps to regulate brain activity, reducing feelings of stress and anxiety, which both have a detrimental impact on the body’s natural state.

Mental health benefits

Spending more time outdoors, in addition to the instant mood boost it provides, also motivates us to live a healthier lifestyle overall – helping to stave off long-term illnesses. Studies have also suggested that exposing ourselves to nature encourages prosocial behaviours, increasing our desire to help others.

Remember to pay particular attention to natural smells; freshly cut grass and fresh flowers provide a natural source of aromatherapy, helping to maximise feelings of relaxation.

If you don’t enjoy walking, why not spend time outdoors by returning to that gardening hobby or maintaining a vegetable patch? You’ll be reaping the benefits of being amongst nature whilst also feeling a sense of accomplishment.

Physical health benefits

Amongst the instant mental health benefits that natural sunlight offers, it also helps to alleviate pain. Providing a natural source of vitamin D, sunlight nourishes the body, reducing inflammation and boosting overall bodily functions.

Exposure to nature also helps regulate a healthy immune system, resulting in an increased white blood cell count – ultimately reducing the chances of contracting illnesses or infection, whilst decreasing our blood pressure and improving sleep quality.

It’s essential that, as humans, we spend sufficient time in the outdoors to retain a healthy body and mind. You can further boost the health benefits you receive from natural elements by bringing them indoors, with indoor plants falling in-line with the current trend of biophilic inspired design. To find out more, read our previous article.

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