If quarantine during the COVID-19 global pandemic taught us one thing, it’s how valuable getting outdoors can be. As gyms, restaurants, schools and workplaces around the world shut down during quarantine, a lot of people turned to the great outdoors as one of the few options for getting some fresh air and a change of scenery. Being outside packs a ton of benefits for our mental and physical health, here are a few of the top benefits of being outdoors:
Relieving anxiety, stress and depression
Countless studies have shown the positive effects of being outside on relieving anxiety, stress and depression. Taking a stroll through nature and breathing in fresh air and sunshine can instantly boost your mood. There is a strong connection between time spent in nature and reduced negative emotions. This includes symptoms of anxiety, depression, and psychosomatic illnesses like irritability, insomnia, tension headaches, and even indigestion. Studies have also shown that when people are feeling stressed, those feelings can be relieved in mere minutes when they step outside. Time in green spaces has been shown to significantly reduce the body’s levels of cortisol, which is a stress hormone. Nature also boosts endorphin levels and dopamine production, which promotes happiness.
Reduce mental fatigue
When we spend too much time inside binging Netflix, scrolling on Instagram and staring at our computer screens, our brains are unable to switch off and normalize. Getting outside will awaken our brains, allow them to normalize and give us a boost of energy, plus it will allow our eyes to rest from constant blue light.
Give your mind a rest
After a stressful day or week you may be tempted to veg out on the couch with your favorite cocktail. Try going outside first. The fresh air will rejuvenate you and your mind and brain will thank you for a break from the screens. Take a deep breath and let your mind wander and clear itself out while it’s connecting with nature and not being pulled in 20 different directions.
Get in shape and drop some pounds while outdoors
The physical benefits that come with spending time outdoors are endless. Whether you are going on a walk, a jog, a hike, playing tennis, swimming, playing volleyball—the list goes on and on. Physical activity promotes weight loss, heart health and lowers your risk of chronic disease. The best part of working out outdoors is you get the physical benefits and the mental benefits. Exercising outdoors can be a family affair and can be downright fun! If you’re feeling bored with your current exercise routine staring at four walls, step outside and have some fun with it. Plus, the mood and endorphin boost that comes with exercising while outdoors will provide you with a nice runner’s high and will have your body feeling revitalized.