“Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.” Frank Lloyd Wright.
I’m at my happiest when I’m outside, especially, in the country or walking at the coast. Even sitting in my back yard is pleasurable. I sit there with a brew and just be. It relaxes me and even helps me to clear my head.
It’s one reason why I love running so much, so I can be outside. I admire the scenery as I run and I’ve been lucky to always live in semi rural and rural areas. Even looking out of a window at a tree instantly improves my mood!
So, it’s great to hear that there have been studies proving the health benefits of being outside. Like the one, conducted by the University of East Anglia. This study showed the following benefits of living close to nature and spending time outside:-
• Reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, stress and high blood pressure.
• Reduces anxiety. Going out in the sun helps to keep up our serotonin levels which, raises our energy, keeps our mood calm, positive and focused. (Unless you live in the UK. Sun? What sun?)
Going outdoors can also:-
• Improve sleep. Cells in our eyes need enough light to get our bodies’ internal clock working right.
• Gives us better immunity. Many plants put substances called “phytoncides” into the air that can boost immune function. Sunlight can also energise special “T cells” that help to fight infection.
• Boost creativity. Studies have shown that time in nature can boost our creative, problem-solving abilities. Partly because the outside world engages our attention in a quieter way that lets our attention refocus.
• As little as 5 minutes of outdoor activity can help to improve our self esteem.
Also, for me, I find that if I spend days inside, I feel sluggish and lack energy, and even get restless. Roll on my next run or walk!
Sources: sciencedaily.com, webmd.com