With the temperatures dropping during the winter, sometimes it’s tempting to stay under your duvet with a cup of tea and a good movie. However, there are a number of studies that confirm the benefits of spending time outdoors, especially for your mental health. Here we suggest 6 reasons to put on your coat and gloves to go and enjoy the fresh air!
Benefits of going outdoors: scientifically proven benefits
1- Breathe better quality air
With pollution, seasonal allergies, and roaming pets, some of us prefer to stay indoors as often as possible. But if you thought the indoor air quality was better, think again: indoor air pollution can be up to 10 times worse than outdoor air pollution. Read the health benefits of spending more time outside below;
When we think of air pollution, we usually think of factories and exhaust pipes, while inadequate ventilation, some paints, chemicals in cleaning products and the mold that can be found inside indoors are also sources of pollution. So, if you need to take a deep breath, the best place to do it is outside, even if you live in the city.
2- Vitamin D absorption
A very common deficiency is vitamin D deficiency. One of the peculiarities of this nutrient is that our body produces the majority of the vitamin D it needs instead of relying on food sources. Indeed, our body transforms the solar rays which reach us into chemicals which then become vitamin D. Spending more time outside can boost your vitamin D. It keeps us healthy and mentally strong.
However, by not spending enough time outdoors, our bodies have a hard time getting enough sunlight to create vitamin D. As soon as possible, try to spend 10 to 15 minutes in the sun each day. This can be difficult, especially in winter, but try to make the most of the few sunny days!
3- Fight against seasonal depression
Seasonal depression is a type of depression that affects people around the time of fall, and gets worse as winter progresses. Researchers are not yet completely sure what causes this type of depression, but it seems that a lack of light and vitamin D could play a key role.
Even if you don’t have seasonal depression, a lack of natural light can still affect your mood. Fight these effects and increase your vitamin D absorption by going for a walk outside.
4- Take a “forest bath”
This new anti-stress therapy is based on the principle of bbppavers.com. This concept consists quite simply of spending time away from the distractions of the city to appreciate the calm of nature.
This practice is particularly beneficial: according to some studies, enjoying nature promotes the activity of certain white blood cells, thus helping to fight infections. Likewise, this activity can reduce blood pressure and stress levels.
5- Fight against anxiety
Have you been feeling anxious recently? Walking outside can help: Researchers have found that just spending time outdoors can promote feelings of well-being and reduce anxiety. Spending more time outside can improve your immune system. Walking can also help free your mind and creativity, allowing you to take your mind off things.
6- Practice of “earth walking”
The earth walking is simply to connect to the energy of the planet by going barefoot. This is because our feet absorb electrical charges from the ground, which travel through the body. This method has recognized benefits ranging from improving the quality of sleep to reducing inflammation.
How to spend more time outdoors?
Sometimes it’s hard to find practical ways to fit time outdoors into a busy lifestyle. In fact, sometimes you just need to add a few habits to your routine:
- Exercise outside: don’t go for a run on the gym treadmill and find a park near you. You can also find outdoor sports classes if you prefer to have a teacher with you.
- Go for a walk: go for a walk during your lunch break, or go outside while you make a call
- Eat outside: change your habits a bit and enjoy your meal outside
- Take advantage of seasonal activities: if it’s cold outside, go play in the snow or take a brisk walk to warm up. Enjoy an outdoor Christmas market or go skating. When the weather is warm, take the opportunity to take a hike, organize a picnic in a park or take a leisurely stroll.
Are you feeling exhausted? Rather than pouring yourself a second cup of coffee, try a short walk outside instead. A recent study shows that 90% of people who spend time in the fresh air, especially in the great outdoors, notice a significant increase in their energy level.
Most of us are used to breathing the unclean air that circulates in confined spaces, especially during our work day. With fresh air, our body gets more oxygen, which helps it to function more efficiently. In fact, a series of recent studies indicate that spending just 20 minutes a day outside in nature is enough to show a sharp rise in our level of vitality
Stronger bones and teeth
Soaking up the sun’s rays outdoors gives your body the opportunity to absorb the vitamin D it needs to strengthen your bones and teeth. Without vitamin D, your blood calcium and phosphorus levels can drop. This causes calcium to be removed from your bones to balance your blood, which weakens your bones and teeth, and could lead to osteoporosis later.
Of course, you shouldn’t overdo a good thing. Prolonged direct exposure to UV rays can cause long-term damage to your skin and general health. Before going outside on a sunny day, be sure to protect your skin with an appropriate SPF. Cut your time in the sun with short breaks indoors or in the shade.