I’ve been making an effort to go outside every day this past week just for break from the four walls of my office. Awesome bonus, it’s beautiful outside. Visual intoxication made in full-effect.
I always feel such a boost in my mood after I’ve been outside so I did a bit of research and found this list of benefits from a medical study and had to share.
The July 2010 edition of the Harvard Health Letter lists five good reasons to get outdoors and spend time in nature:
Your vitamin D levels rise.
Sunlight hitting the skin begins a process that leads to the creation and activation of vitamin D. Studies suggest that this vitamin helps fight certain conditions, from osteoporosis and cancer to depression and heart attacks. Limited sun exposure (don’t overdo it), supplemented with vitamin D pills if necessary, is a good regiment.
If you make getting outside a goal, that should mean less time in front of the television and computer and more time walking and doing other things that put the body in motion.
You’ll be happier.
Light tends to elevate people’s mood, and there’s usually more light available outside than in. Physical activity has been shown to help people relax and cheer up, so if being outside replaces inactive pursuits with active ones, it might also mean more smiles.
Your concentration will improve.
Children with ADHD seem to focus better after being outdoors. It might be a stretch to say that applies to adults, but if you have trouble concentrating, outdoor activity may help.
You may heal faster.
In one study, people recovering from spinal surgery experienced less pain and stress and took fewer pain medications when they were exposed to natural light. An older study showed that the view out the window (trees vs. a brick wall) helped recovery in the hospital.
Looking for a challenge:
Make time for yourself each day to go outside without your phone and to Challenge yourself to go outside for a few moments of the day without your phone and without a task. Just breathe in the fresh air and exist in that moment. It’s pretty amazing, right? Your mind and body will be so grateful for it.