Health Benefits of Being Outside in nature.
A study of nearly 20,000 participants indicated that spending at least 120 minutes a week in nature improved their health and well-being. (White et al, 2019). Apparently, there were no benefits if less than 120 minutes.
- 1. Reduces your blood pressure and stress hormones.
- 2. Boosts your immune system. 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.
- 3. Reduces your risk of heart disease.
- 4. Reduces your anxiety. Going out in the sun helps to keep up your serotonin levels which, raises your energy, keeps your mood calm, positive and focused.
- 5. Increases your self-esteem.
- 6. Helps you to build up vitamin D in your body.
- 7. May help with your eye strain. If like me, you spend a lot of time staring at your phone, laptop, tablet etc. you may find spending time in nature could alleviate blurred, double vision, red eyes and headaches.
- 8. May improve your sleep. Cells in your eyes need enough light to get your body’s internal clock working better.
- 9. Boost your creativity. Studies have shown that being in nature can boost your creative and problem-solving ability.
Finally, a study performed by Pieters et al, 2018, revealed that gardening done by psychiatric inpatients improved their mood, helped them feel calm, helped them feel part of a community, reduced their isolation and offered a temporary distraction from unpleasant thoughts.
My Love of being outside in Nature.
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!
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!
So, if you feel low, anxious, stressed tired etc. then you know what to do.
“Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.” Frank Lloyd Wright.
Are you an outdoor person? If so, do you have a favourite place that makes you feel better? Let me know in the comments section.
Sources: sciencedaily.com, webmd.com, hospital.org, nature.com, e360.yale.edu,