Summer is here and nature is beckoning. There is a long list of reasons why a bit (or even a lot) of time outside the house or office is physically and mentally beneficial.
Sunlight on your skin activates processes in your body that leads to the production of vitamin D. This vitamin combats conditions such as osteoporosis, cancer, depression and heart diseases.
You will be happier. According to a study at the University of Michigan in America, nature hikes in groups are linked to improved mental health and positivity, as well as lowered levels of depression and stress.
Your concentration will improve. Children with ADHD can focus better after having spent time outdoors.
Your health may improve quicker. Patients who can see trees or the sky outside their hospital windows recuperate better than when staring at a wall the whole day.
People who exercise run a lower risk of bad mental health than those who exercise indoors.
Interaction with nature gives your brain a break from daily overstimulation, which then restores your ability to focus.
According to research by Tokyo’s Nippon Medical School, white blood cells that combat viruses and cysts increase after two days in the veld.
By spending time in nature you improve your short-term memory.
It lowers stress levels. Cortisol is the hormone released when you stress. People who have spent two days outdoors (for example, camping), subsequently show lower levels of cortisol.
Time outdoors lowers inflammation.
Outdoor activities have a protective effect on your eyes, and can therefore lessen your chances of developing myopia (near-sightedness).
You will be able to think more sharply and creatively.
However, if you don’t have the time to spend outdoors, you could crook a bit. People who look at pictures or photographs of landscapes show increased activity in areas of the brain that accompany the recall of happy memories, so place photographs of nature on your desk or on your wall, and give your mental health a boost.
Harvard Health Publications, 2016. “Spending time outdoors is good for you, from the Harvard Health letter”. http://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/spending-time-outdoors-is-good-for-you
Metzger, C. 2014. “5 (Scientific!) reasons getting outside is good for you”. Health, http://news.health.com/2014/09/29/health-benefits-of-nature/
Friedman, L.F. & Loria, K. 2015. “11 Scientifically proven reasons you should be spending less time in the office”. Business Insider, http://www.businessinsider.com/why-being-outside-in-nature-is-healthy-2015-6/#-reduce-your-risk-of-early-death-11