When we consider the demands of living life, we all have a need to collect more tools to combat stress. This is an area where it’s really best to take a step back from technology and into nature. The benefits of simply taking yourself from indoors and into the great outdoors are huge!
With such a variety of activities to do outside, the decision to venture out more should be a no brainer. Not only is it a nice change of scenery, but there are some very real health benefits also!
Here are 5 health centered reasons to spend time outside:
1) Grounding/ Earthing - Though still a controversial topic for some, earthing has benefits that you can feel for yourself. This is increasingly important as an abundance of technologies takes us further away from connecting with the earth. Benefits are better sleep, stress relief, and clearer focus. You can do this by hugging a tree, walking barefoot outside or, my personal favorite, sprawling out on a giant rock.
(Don’t underestimate this!)
2) Mood Enhancement - This is another one of those things that need only to be felt to be believed. Sunshine encourages the production of our feel good hormones, melatonin and serotonin. These hormones help with sleep, more energy, and are also anti-aging!
3) Vitamin D - This essential vitamin has been studied extensively in recent years as it protects our bodies from a myriad of diseases and cancer. And the awesome part is, we can get a good dose of Vitamin D from the sun! Getting sunshine on your belly and through the tops of your feet is said to be the best. Use care with UV exposure. (Here’s a tip: Your skin is a living organ!!! A clean diet goes a LONG way towards protecting your skin against damage and cancer. Also, finding time to expose your skin to sunlight during colder months allows your skin to adjust to stronger UV exposure in the warmer months.)
4) Mindfulness- Nature is stimulating in the BEST way! Few things are more pleasant than feeling the breeze, feeling the sand beneath your feet, watching a sunset, and hearing the birds and bees. The pleasure of being outside allows you to be in the moment. It is easy to want to drink in every sensation as it comes and goes. Mindfulness should be practiced at all times and in all settings. But, let’s face it. It’s easier to be fully in the moment when you’re surrounded by the beauty of nature.
5) Encourages Movement - Once you get a taste of what nature has to offer, you start wanting more. There is a bit of an explorer in all of us. Whether it’s walking in the hills, riding your bike, skiing, swimming, or going for a jog, there are lots of ways you can further explore nature. These activities eventually become an excuse to be outside.
It doesn’t take much to make this a part of your life. Move your relaxation time and fun time outside more often. I use a concrete slab outside my house to lay down on, or a patch of grass for a picnic. If I can’t get a walk/hike in, 15 minutes out in the sunshine is better than nothing! Whether you’re just laying around on the beach or summiting a mountain, you are sure to feel the positive health effects of being outdoors.