When was the last time you went outdoors and really enjoyed it? It may have been a long time ago, but the fact is that the great outdoors is good for our health, both mentally and physically, and the general population just doesn’t get enough of it. We are all so intent on our screens and getting our work done that we can forget just how great the benefits of being outside really are. Here are some of the best reasons why going outside and really spending time in nature can be so good for you.
Whether you go for a stroll around the block, a longer hike, or you decide to head out camping with your equipment and your compact stove, , being in nature is a wonderful natural stress reliever. Stress can be a big problem in our modern lives as we are always feeling under pressure to do this or complete that, or simply live up to the impossible standards set by society. Some problems that can develop due to stress may include:
- Heart problems
- High blood pressure
- Immune system difficulties
- Mental health issues such as depression and anxiety
When not managed correctly, stress can have devastating consequences on our health and our lives. Luckily, getting outside and reducing those stress levels will have a better effect, actively reversing the problems that stress has caused in some cases. The levels of the hormone cortisol (the stress hormone) in your blood will be reduced, and this will mean that you feel less stressed and much more relaxed. The great thing about this is that even when you return to your normal life, those good feelings will persist, enabling you to be more productive and feel better in general. You can prepare the perfect trip away into the wilderness with friends and family, and view here for the latest in cooking and camping supplies for your trip.
Better Immune System
When you stay indoors all the time, your immune system can be affected badly. In order to get the most out of your immune system, you should be challenging it on a regular basis. That doesn’t mean deliberately putting yourself in harm’s way, but it does mean at least going outside so that your body can become prepared for anything that might come its way in terms of health. Studies in 2010 showed that those who had spent three days in a forest had more white blood cells than those who had stayed at home. Plus, those blood cell levels remained for as much as 30 days after they returned home. Since white blood cells battle germs and keep you healthy, it’s clear to see why having more of them would be a good thing.
Better Attention Span
It’s true that our attention spans are much-reduced thanks to technology, and that is not good for our levels of productivity or our focus at work or at home. However, when spending time in nature, no matter how short that time might be, our attention becomes a lot more focused, and we can concentrate for longer. This is why, if you are having trouble dealing with a task because you can’t think clearly about it and can’t really concentrate, stepping outside for a while can help you. By the time you get back, you will be ready to continue and complete whatever project it is you are working on.
For a long time now, being active in the great outdoors has correlated with eating a healthier diet. The fact is that those who are happy to exercise and spend time in nature are also more likely to look after their health in other ways and that includes eating well. However, there is more to it than that. If you are a gardener, for example, which is something that certainly keeps you active in the outdoor space, you may also be growing your own fruit and vegetables, or have access to some that you have permission to take from the people who are growing them. Adding these to your diet regularly means you will be much more healthy.
Keep Your Mind Calm
When your mind can’t relax,it can have terrible consequences which could even lead to mental illness. To keep your mind calm it is a good idea to go outside. Nature has a definite calming effect on the mind,and although this won’t ‘cure’ mental illness entirely, it can certainly help with the symptoms.
For more advice, it is best to see a doctor, but for those who need just a little help, going outside for a walk or to breathe in the fresh air can soothe the mind and make it a lot easier to think and process what is happening around you.
Regular exercise is crucial in being healthy overall, but not everyone enjoys going to the gym or playing sports. Taking a walk in nature is much more pleasant, but it is still exercise, so you can lose weight and get healthy as you enjoy nature and all it has to offer. If you take your bicycle rather than walking, you can get even fitter, for example. It will all depend on your initial levels of fitness and what you feel you can do (as well as how much time you have to dedicate to this). However, even the shortest amount of exercise is better than none at all, and over time you can build it up into something more.
Aids Short Term Memory
All kinds of things can affect our short-term memory including technology, work, and stress. Studies have shown that a walk in nature – or even ideally spending more time there – can help us with our short-term memories, making it much easier to remember names and faces and to study for exams, for example. It seems that nature improves our focus, and without the distractions of everyday life and without being pulled in too many directions at once, our brains can ‘re-set’ and do what they are supposed to do without any restrictions. This includes being better able to remember things.