Spending time outdoors can lead to a number of overall health and wellness benefits. The outdoors offers many opportunities for people to be physically active. It should also be noted that spending time outdoors may also help to improve and promote mental health and stress reduction.
Mental health is something that needs to be prioritized. If ignored, it can lead to a number of problems like depression and negative thoughts, even to the point of suicidal ideation.
Benefits Of Being Outside
Sunlight is one of the clear benefits of being outdoors. Ultraviolet rays that come from the sun works to stimulate the production of vitamin D in the skin. Vitamin D is an incredibly important part of the functioning and a deficiency of the vitamin can lead to brittle bones and decreased overall health.
There are a number of things that affect the amount of vitamin D that a person’s skin makes including skin tone, geographic location, weather conditions, time of year, and time of day.
Physical Health Benefits
It is easy to understand how being active outdoors can provide you or your loved one with benefits to your physical health. Any sort of activity, whether it’s hiking or sports, will get your heart rate up and work to improve things like obesity and cardiovascular health.
Mental Health Benefits
According to a study from the Frontiers in Psychology, there is a lot of evidence that suggests that being in natural environments holds a number of mental health benefits. Proximity to these environments has been associated with lower levels of stress, and reduced symptoms associated with depression and anxiety. Again, mental health is something that needs to be taken seriously as it is often overlooked. Poor mental health can lead to many different problems, including substance abuse and addiction. Luckily there are a number of resources available to help you overcome drug abuse or find alcoholism treatment.
Some people may understand that there are a number of benefits associated with being outdoors and staying active, but many may not know where exactly to begin. There are a number of outdoor activities that you can jump into today to get yourself going.
Gardening is one effective and fun way to get out in the sun. One study published by Kansas State University found that gardening is a great way for people to shed calories and increased flexibility
Some of the health benefits associated with gardening include:
- Increased physical activity
- Access to nutritious, fruits and vegetables
- Increased flexibility
- Improved strength
- Sense of accomplishment and pride
- Reduced stress and anxiety
Hiking is one of the most common outdoor activities across that nation and we know that hiking holds a number of health benefits due to people just being physically active. As mentioned before, there are also emotional health and mental health benefits that come from being out in the sun and in nature.
A Stanford-led study found that walking or hiking around in nature could lead to a lower risk of depression. The study found that people who would walk around for about 90 minutes in a natural environment showed decreased activity in a portion of the brain that was associated with depression.
Sports are a common and entertaining activity that virtually everyone can participate in. Whether you’re looking for a high-intensity sport like football or soccer or a more laid-back sport like golf, there are a number of options available. Sports like these will provide a number of benefits for mental, physical and emotional help and can work to improve things like obesity, flexibility, and more.
Tennis is another sport that anyone of nearly any age can participate in. It offers the participant a number of mind and body benefits including higher aerobics, lower resting heart rate, and better blood pressure response time.
There are many ways that you can stay active and get outdoors, whatever you choose to do, they will all help to improve your physical and mental health and reduce stress and symptoms related to depression and anxiety.