Spending time outdoors is great for our health. We breathe in fresh air and enjoy the beauty of nature. What you may not know are the specific benefits of spending time outside. Here are four reasons why you should get out there and enjoy the natural world!
1. Improved mental health
Studies show being outdoors can improve mental health – lowering anxiety and depression. Exposure to natural light regulates the body’s circadian rhythm. This helps regulate sleep patterns. Additionally, spending time in nature reduces stress levels and increases feelings of relaxation.
Outdoor activities often involve some physical activity. This has benefits for mental health, including releasing endorphins and improving sleep quality. Lastly, interacting with others outside reduces social isolation and increases feelings of connectedness. These factors combined have a significant effect on mental health.
2. Sunlight provides vitamin D – essential for healthy bones and teeth
Vitamin D is a nutrient that helps the body absorb calcium, which is essential for strong bones and teeth. We get small amounts of vitamin D from food, but the majority of our vitamin D comes from sunlight exposure. When our skin’s exposed to sunlight, it produces vitamin D. Yet, too much sun exposure can lead to skin damage. Striking a balance is key. Spend time in sunlight each day to get enough vitamin D, while lowering your risk for skin problems.
Along with helping the body absorb calcium, vitamin D aids in immune function and cell growth. Getting enough sun exposure is essential for maintaining good health.
3. Exercise outdoors to get in cardio and release endorphins
Most people know that exercise is good for their health. Yet many don’t realize the benefits of working out outdoors. Along with physical benefits of cardio and endorphin release, exercising outdoors improves mood and cognitive function. Spending time in nature may also reduce stress and anxiety. Next time you’re feeling low, try taking your workout outside. Not only will you get a great workout, but you might find your mood lifting as well.
4. Nature has a calming effect on the mind
It’s no secret that spending time in nature can have a calming effect on the mind. Being surrounded by trees and plants can help reduce stress and promote relaxation. Studies show exposure to nature lowers cortisol, the hormone responsible for stress. And increases levels of serotonin, a chemical that helps to improve mood.
Spending time outdoors is linked to lower blood pressure and heart rate. You may also see improved sleep quality. Next time you’re stressed, immerse yourself in nature. Enjoy the peace and tranquility that it has to offer.
Now, go outside and enjoy the fresh air! Not only is it good for your physical health, but you may also find that it’s great for your mental well-being as well. And who knows? You may even start to look forward to your outdoor time as a way to boost your mood and get some exercise in at the same time. Spring is a great time for outdoor Pilates. At ProHealth, you can stream your online class from your backyard or favorite park. Sign up for a mat class today!