The Health Benefits of Getting Outside

Summer is still in full swing, and this time of year provides the most opportunities for everyone to get outside and enjoy nature. I hope everyone can take advantage of that this summer, because getting outside and spending time with nature has real measurable health benefits for your mind and body.

How getting outside helps your body

Increased exercise benefits

getting outside 01Being in a natural environment increases the amount of benefits we get from exercise. Being in a natural environment helps you feel more at ease and more motivated. This can lead to a much better workout compared to being inside or in a city environment. If you’re able to spend time in a place with a high elevation, being exposed to the mountains can also help with weight loss.

Nature also has a positive effect on blood pressure. Studies show that taking a walk-in nature versus a walk through the city lowers blood pressure.

To hear more about the blood pressure effect of nature, check out this article on “Forest Bathing”

Better vision

getting outside 02Spending time outside has been linked to reduced chances of vision problems, especially in children. More time in the outdoors leads to improvements in distance vision and lowers the chance of nearsightedness. The longer fields of vision and brighter colors outside seem to help stimulate our eyes and improve their health.

Check out this article to learn more about how being outside helps your vision, as well as other outdoor benefits

Vitamin D Intake

getting outside 03Getting outside and having the right amount of exposure to the sun’s rays can be of great benefit to your body. Sunlight helps your body create the right amount of Vitamin D.

Vitamin D plays an important role in helping your body heal itself and prevent disease. Low levels of vitamin D are linked to an increased risk of type 1 diabetes, muscle and bone pain, and, perhaps more serious, cancers of the breast, colon, prostate, ovaries, esophagus, and lymphatic system. Vitamin D is also key to regular blood pressure, and stimulates cancer fighting agents.

Click here to read more about Vitamin D from one of my past blog posts

If you take care proper care of your skin, using sunscreen and avoiding overexposure, getting Vitamin D from the sun is a great benefit of being outside.

How getting outside helps the mind

Stress reduction and happiness boost

getting outside 04Studies show that those who spend more time outside have lower levels of stress. This has been measured a few different ways, and the results conclude that even a small exposure to nature can help reduce stress levels for people. At the same time, exposure to nature has been shown to improve people’s moods. So, what’s not to like? Less stress and more happiness.

Increased brain function

getting outsideGetting outside, even for just a brief walk, can help your brain unclutter and get back to better functioning. Psychology studies show that walking outside has a positive effect on your creative abilities. Some of the greatest minds in human history have used the power of walking outside to help their thinking. Aristotle, Charles Dickins, and Beethoven all spoke about the benefits of getting outside for a walk.

Check out this article for more on the mental (and some physical) benefits of being outdoors

Better Body, Better Brain, Get out and Go!

So, the story is simple: getting outside and getting moving is great for your body and mind. You’ll have lower stress and blood-pressure, you’ll have improved vision, you’ll have increased happiness, and you’ll have better brain functioning if you’re able to get out and walk around this beautiful world of ours.

Why not start today with a little walk in the great outdoors?

Dr. Johnson