With all that’s happening in the world right now, the best, and easiest, solution to some problems is to put down the screens and step outside. What are the benefits to spending time outside? I learned a few today:
Helps Our Memory
Going for a stroll in a wooded area versus a city block improves short term memory for people diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder, according to a 2012 study from Journal of Affective Disorders.
Stabilizes our Internal Clock
Sleeping outside will reset your circadian rhythm, says a study in the journal Current Biology, for two main reasons – sleeping outside keeps you away from the sleep-disrupting blue light and puts you at the mercy of the sun. Studies have long proven that the blue light emitting from our electronics negatively affect our internal clock while rising with the sun and going to bed with the moon puts us back into that natural internal sleep cycle.
Spending as little as 15 minutes per day outside will help drop stress levels considerably. Whether it’s your own backyard, a park or, even better, an entire weekend in the woods, spending time among plant life will make you feel more serene. And on the flipside, all that fresh air will also deliver a much needed midday energy boost.
Spending time outside doesn’t only lower stress. Symptoms of depression, anxiety, and ADHD are reduced – as well as lowering levels of inflammation and blood pressure and boosting immune system. Looking to incorporate outside time to reduce symptoms of a chronic illness? Pick up a hobby like gardening or even explore the benefits of wilderness therapy.
Vitamin D helps our bodies in a bevy of ways, including reducing the chances osteoporosis, heart disease and even some cancers. As always, wear sunscreen to avoid sunburn and melanoma. Doctors advise that even 10-15 minutes of daily sun exposure can aid in the body’s immune system.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or down, go outside. Take some time for yourself and enjoy the world. Even five minutes of admiring nature can turn your entire day around.