Get Outside: The Health Benefits of being Outside
Yes, yes. Spending time at home can be amazing. Entertainment is readily available, you can do whatever you like, and you don’t have to deal with others.
But aside from spending time at home, you should also make it a habit to get out more because doing so offers numerous benefits for your health and well-being.
With that in mind, let’s review the top four reasons you should be outside more often.
1. Spending Time In Nature Melts Stress
Have you ever gone away from the city for a few days? Maybe you went hiking, had a picnic, or simply gazed at the clear night sky, free from the lights of your city. How did you feel by the end of it? Chances are, you felt rested, relaxed, and much less anxious than before going away?
The truth is, being in nature is in our DNA and benefits us profoundly. In fact, the impact is so profound that simply having plants around can positively affect your mental health, productivity, and well-being (1, 2).
2. You Get to Soak Up Vitamin D
Contrary to popular belief, vitamin D is not truly a vitamin but a hormone, which the body produces in response to sun exposure (3). The problem is that vitamin D deficiency is widespread today, and many people are at risk of developing osteoporosis late in life (4).
One option to prevent this effect, especially during the winter months, is to supplement vitamin D3. Doing so provides your body with a concentrated dose of the vitamin, reducing the risk of a deficiency.
Another option is to spend more time outside and expose your skin to direct sunlight (5). Rays from the sun convert dehydrocholesterol to active vitamin D, which the body uses for various processes.
3. Time Spent Outside Can Improve Your Sleep
We all know that getting enough sleep is essential for us. It allows us to recover, flush out toxins, and feel better. Adequate sleep is also necessary for good health, cognition, and the prevention of various diseases (6, 7).
Think back to a time when you couldn’t sleep well during the night. Maybe you didn’t have enough time for it, or you felt worried about something. How did you feel the following day? Chances are, you were tired, irritable, and less productive than usual.
The good news is that spending time outside and moving can profoundly impact sleep, allowing us to get the necessary rest we need to feel good and thrive (8).
4. It Allows You to Unplug From The Digital World
Technology is a gift to us. It has created many jobs, provided tons of opportunities, and made many things easier to do. Plus, the digital world offers numerous benefits related to knowledge and entertainment. We are now more informed and entertained than ever before.
The problem is, just as technology benefits us and makes life easier, it can also swallow us whole and have adverse effects on our emotional, mental, and physical health. Too much time spent in the digital world can lead to depression, physical inactivity, anxiety, and social isolation (9, 10).
The great news is that going outside more frequently is a fantastic way to detach yourself from the digital world, even if for a bit. As a result, you can maintain relationships, stay active, and prevent technology from impacting your health.