Everyone loves to get out into nature every once in a while, spending time away from the hustle and bustle of the modern world, to revel in the mysticism of the natural world. While the desire to take a break and unwind is easy for some people, for others it may require a little more persuasion to get up from behind that computer or put down that smartphone.
If you fall in the latter category, we hope some stone-cold science may encourage you to seek out your own slice of wilderness one coming weekend. We’ll discuss many scientifically proven reasons that spending time outdoors is beneficial to both your mental and physical health.
Physical Health Benefits
Sun & Sleep
The first physical health benefit of being out in nature is the sun. Sunlight is a source of vitamin D which can reduce the risk of a stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and cancer. Secondly, it has been shown to improve your sleep. Being out and in the sun will give our circadian rhythm a “reset”, making you more likely to fall asleep easier and with improved quality of sleep.
Benefiting Your Heart & Vision
Spending time in the wild has been shown to reduce the effects of inflammation which has been linked to autoimmune disorders, depression, cancer, and inflammatory bowel disease.
It should come as no surprise that spending hours looking at electronic devices isn’t good for your eyes, however, natural light is the natural tonic for CVS and nearsightedness.
Physical activity in nature has been shown to lower our blood pressure and plays an active role in keeping our hearts healthy. A healthy heart means less of a chance of a heart attack or stroke.
Spending time out in nature has been shown to be good for our immune systems, with researches finding our immune systems get a boost after short periods outside.
Mental Health Benefits Of Nature
Provide Mental Relief
On the face of it, an unsurprising mental health benefit of nature is that it gives us a chance to turn off our brains for a while. School, work and life, in general, can mentally drain us. Being in the outdoors can give us a mental break. Another benefit is nature is shown to help reduce feelings of stress we may feel from everyday life.
Improve Your Mood
Another benefit is going out for a brisk walk or jog will release endorphins and give us a running high. Thus, being out in nature can benefit those who struggle with depression or anxiety. For anyone who suffers from depression or anxiety, nature can help ease these feelings and help them on the road to recovery. Even for people who aren’t depressed and maybe just had a bad day, being in nature can make them feel better.
Productivity Benefits Of Nature
Being in nature can be beneficial to doing better in school. Several studies have shown exercise in a natural environment can improve arithmetic and reading performance. In addition, being immersed in nature improves creativity. Spending time outdoors can also help your concentration for anyone who might have attention difficulties.
How People Can Get Out More
There are so many things to benefit from getting away from it all and being surrounded by the peace of nature. While you can plan a weekend getaway trip to a cabin in the woods, you don’t necessarily have to travel miles to the nearest state park. Going out for a short walk around your neighborhood park has its benefits.