More often than not, your average day most likely includes very little time outside: you commute to your office in your car, sit indoors in front of a computer screen for eight hours, and then travel right home, where you spend the rest of the evening huddled inside. Long gone are the days during which you could stay outside all day long; as an adult, we tend to stick to the great indoors unless it’s vacation time. However, it’s important to make sure you work some outside hours into your schedule. Nature is incredibly beneficial, and can offer a wealth of health benefits when you head outside.
Because our lives have shifted increasingly more indoors over the past few decades, we have become less healthy. Obesity rates have more than doubled, and our rates of depression have risen along with our average body weight. We are more stressed than ever before, and it’s all because we aren’t getting the same connection to nature that we once did. When we head outdoors, we offer our bodies and our brains a whole host of healthy and helpful improvements. For example, when we go outside we tend to stay active – running, jogging, walking, or even strolling – which helps keep us active and our bodies moving regularly. Additionally, time spent out under the rays of the warm sun provide us with vitamin D, which makes us happy. Vitamin D also reduces the risk of bone problems, heart diseases, and even Type 2 diabetes.
As for the mind, the great outdoors also benefits our attention spans. If you’re surrounded by endless “smart” devices and technology, chances are you constantly feel like you’re multitasking – and as a result, you may find yourself unable to focus on any one task. Heading outdoors will help you to regain your focus and find your peace, quiet, and calm away from your hectic life. Additionally, scientific research has found that those who head outside are able to better perform on tasks, and even improve their critical thinking capabilities. Step outside of your usual indoor environments for just a few minutes – or perhaps even an afternoon or two – and you’ll find yourself improving in so many different areas.