Now more than ever, humans are understanding the importance of spending time outside. While it has been scientifically proven that being out in nature is great for the mind and the body, many are starting to notice the benefits first-hand for themselves. But if you’re still not sure, don’t worry. We’ve listed the top five physical and mental health benefits of being outdoors below.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Being Outdoors?
1. It helps you relax
Whether you’re stressed, anxious or angry, spending time outdoors is a simple, yet effective, mood booster. Also known as ecotherapy, getting out in nature takes us back to our beginnings as humans. So use walking as a mindful exercise. Take in the sights, smells and textures along your route – this will help to distract you from negative or reoccurring thoughts and centre you to the present.
Another one of the health benefits of being outdoors is being exposed to natural light. Not only will this make you happier, but it will also improve your sleep and general wellbeing.
2. It exercises your body
So we’ve discussed the mental health benefits of being outdoors, but what about the physical? Even something as simple as strolling around the park or exploring some woodland is a great form of exercise. While it’s easy to think that all the magic happens in the gym, that’s not always the case. It’s important that we balance our indoor time with enough fresh air too, and exercising outdoors is something that humans have done for thousands of years.
3. It boosts your immune system
Another one of the physical benefits of spending time outdoors, is its immune boosting qualities. It is believed by scientists that breathing in the chemicals produced by plants, or phytoncides, increases the level of white blood cells in our bodies, and therefore helps us to fight viruses and infections. What’s more, being exposed to higher levels of vitamin D supports the immune system, as well as our bones and blood cells.
4. It improves your focus
While the activity of walking can provide clarity, the benefits of being outdoors don’t end there. It’s said that the ‘greenness’ of our surroundings can help restore focus. Stuck on a task at work? Even a five or ten minute walk can help you to concentrate on the task at hand.
5. It’s a chance to be social
And finally, while walking solo is important, spending time outdoors allows us to reconnect with our friends and family in a natural, easy way. Ever noticed that you tend to greet more people when you’re on a hike? This sort of behaviour doesn’t usually happen when we’re rushing about our business. One of the great benefits of outdoor activities like this is the chance to restore a sense of community and friendship – with people we know or friendly strangers.
And that concludes our top five benefits of being outdoors. As well as the above, there are plenty more physical and mental health benefits of being outdoors, so why not try it for yourself? If you’re planning an ecotherapy adventure, make sure you’re kitted out with men’s outdoor clothing and women’s outdoor clothing to help keep you comfortable along the way.