Written By Alexandra Arcand / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
Staying active and breathing fresh air are two of the most beneficial things you can do for your body and mind. Many studies have shown the significant impact nature can have on our well-being. Getting outside is a great way to lose weight and get in shape, even for those who may not particularly enjoy exercise.
Being out of shape can have detrimental effects on both your physical and mental well-being. Beyond that, it can also have a negative impact on other aspects of your life.
For example, life insurance for overweight individuals can be more costly than premiums for someone who is at a more healthy weight. In some cases, people who are obese can even be denied coverage altogether by insurance companies.
A great way to work toward better physical and mental health is by exercising. And there are few better places to get active than the great outdoors. Fresh air and outdoor activities can have a significant positive impact on overall health. Plus, the outdoors are easily accessible to anyone who wishes to enjoy them.
So what makes getting outdoors so great for your mental and physical health? Let’s find out.
Mental Health Benefits of Being in Nature
Being outside has been shown to improve mental health significantly. When you spend time outdoors, it can be a great recharge for your mind.
Get Outside and Get Your Mind Back in Gear
With how hectic life can get, many people suffer from what has been labeled “mental fatigue” where you may begin to feel like your brain just doesn’t want to work anymore. You may find yourself struggling to focus or pay attention when this occurs.
Taking a break and getting out into the fresh air is a fantastic way to clear your mind of the fog. Before long, your brain will be ready to focus and get moving again.
Reduce Stress With the Great Outdoors
Life can get extremely stressful. Many people juggle multiple, time-consuming responsibilities daily. This leaves little time to rest and relax, which can lead to high levels of stress.
Being outside is an incredible stress reliever. Studies have shown spending time outdoors can reduce cortisol levels and heart rate, leading to a much more relaxed mind.
Ease Depression and Anxiety Through Nature
Many people struggle with depression and anxiety. They can be consuming and debilitating for those suffering their symptoms. However, spending time outdoors can have a positive impact on feelings of depression and anxiety.
When you are out soaking up the natural sunlight rather than artificial light, your body will begin producing serotonin and vitamin D, both of which are incredible mood boosters. Though nature may not be a cure-all for these disorders, it can surely help.
Being Outside Sparks Creativity and Enhances Thinking Skills
Creativity is an important part of many people’s lives. Some may make their livelihood on it, while others may enjoy it as a hobby. No matter, being able to think clearly and creatively is good for the mind. But sometimes thoughts can become muddled, and it can be difficult to form solid ideas and thoughts.
Spending time in nature can greatly improve people’s abilities to think creatively and clearly. Studies have shown that people naturally focus on interesting aspects of nature, even when shown a nature picture, allowing them to relax and refresh their minds. Newly refreshed minds are perfect spots for creative thinking and new ideas.
Physical Benefits of Being in Nature
Along with the many mental health benefits found from being in nature, you will also notice an abundance of physical benefits. If you are healthier physically, you may also see a benefit of lower life insurance policy costs.
Your Exercise Will Be Better Outdoors
Staying fit and working out takes dedication and motivation. Sometimes, it can be difficult to want to push through a challenging workout or even find the drive to begin it.
Studies have shown that exercising outside will help you achieve your workout goals quicker than if you were to do them indoors. Because there is a lot of extra stimulation occurring outdoors, your focus will be less on your workout and more on what is around you. This leads you to work out longer, on average, than you would if you chose an indoor setting.
Spending Time Outside Can Lower Blood Pressure
High blood pressure may not typically have immediate symptoms, but it can lead to things like heart disease and stroke over time. It is essential to keep an eye on blood pressure levels and ensure they are normal.
The rays from the sun can have a positive impact on blood pressure levels. It has been shown that nitric oxide — a molecule that relaxes the inner muscles of the blood vessels — reacts to sunlight, leading to lowered blood pressure.
Nature Can Improve Your Sleep Quality
Most everyone is a better person when they are well-rested. Not only is your mood improved from a good night’s sleep, but your body feels better overall when you are getting enough rest.
Spending time outdoors can help regulate your circadian rhythm, which allows your body to sleep through the night and leave you feeling refreshed and energized for the next day ahead. This extra energy can allow you to accomplish more throughout your day — from work tasks to exercise.
Give Your Immune System a Boost Being Outside
Nothing can put a damper on your day like realizing you may be coming down with an illness. Being sick can quickly take away your energy and leave you feeling sluggish.
People who regularly spend time outdoors have stronger immune systems than people who stay inside more often. This means your body will be able to better fight off illness and keep you healthier overall.
Getting Outside for Mental and Physical Health Benefits
There are countless ways you can choose to get out and enjoy nature. Maybe your backyard is a peaceful oasis, or you live close to a beautiful park. You may enjoy road-tripping to visit state forests, national parks, or even metro parks near you. There are countless locations where nature is at its peak, just waiting to be explored.
How you to spend your time in nature is also in your hands. You might enjoy a nice hike with your friends, family, pets, or even by yourself. There are also options like biking or running if you want a little more variety in your outdoor activities. No matter what you choose and where you choose to do it, you will undoubtedly enjoy all the health benefits time spent outside has to offer.
Subscribe to our Trusted Health Club newsletter for more information about natural living tips, natural health, oral health and skincare. If you are looking for more health resources make sure to check out the Trusted Health Resources list.
Alexandra Arcand writes and researches for the life insurance comparison site, EffortlessInsurance.com. She loves nature and enjoys helping others learn about its benefits.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.