10 Health Benefits of an Outdoor Lifestyle

Spending time outdoors could be the best lifestyle change you ever make. Spending time in the company of mother nature can reduce stress, boost vitamin D levels, and help you sleep better. Fresh air is essential to good mental health and the beauty of it, it’s free. You don’t need to spend a fortune on an expensive gym membership. A simple walk in the park could be enough to gain a whole host of health benefits.  

Spending time in the forest, at the beach, park, or any green spaces is beneficial for reducing stress, anxiety, and depression

1. Boost Vitamin D Levels  

Low vitamin D levels can cause anxiety, depression, and sleep loss. The sunshine vitamin is essential to maintaining a good mood, bone health, and good sleep quality. Sit or walk in the sun for at least 15 minutes per day to feel the wonderful benefits.   

2. Reduce Stress 

Doctors in Portugal prescribe exposure to nature, older adults are told to spend a day at the beach, enjoying the thermal waters, fresh air, and healing microbes. Spending time in the forest, at the beach, park, or in any green spaces is beneficial for reducing stress, anxiety, and depression. 

3. Heal From Illness 

Outdoor time can help patients manage pain and recover more quickly from surgery. Gentle green exercise such as yoga or walking in the park can help heal from illness and relieve pain.  

4. Boost Cognitive Abilities 

Exposure to nature and outdoor time, especially engaging in an outdoor activity such as camping, rock climbing, kayaking, sailing, and trail running can boost cognitive abilities. An outdoor activity that involves using your memory, critical thinking, and forethought can boost your memory and learning skills.     

5. Learn Survival Skills 

The health benefits of spending time outdoors is plentiful but camping, sailing, and hunting teach you valuable life and survival skills. Wilderness survival techniques like building a shelter, lighting a fire, and catching your dinner can boost your self-esteem and immune system.  

6. Lose Weight 

Any physical activity outside that involves movement can help you lose weight and feel better. High-impact sports like kiteboarding, surfing, mountain biking, and trail running will have you working up a sweat. If you’re recovering from illness or surgery, opt for a more gentle green exercise.   

7. Reduce Blood Pressure 

Exercise and being exposed to the sunshine vitamin can greatly reduce blood pressure and boost heart health. 

8. Sleep Better

Exercise outdoors or 20 minutes of exposure to nature and fresh air is enough to mitigate the effects of insomnia and sleep disorders. Physical activity strengthens muscles, reduces blood pressure, increases heart health, while increasing mental health.   

9. Be Happier 

Having a bad day and want to boost your mood? spend more time at your local park and boost your feel-good hormone with fresh air and exercise. Joining local activity groups can help you make new friends, learn new skills, and find new hobbies to enjoy. A healthy work/life balance is essential to being healthy and sleeping better. 

10. Boost Immunity From Viruses 

Your immune function is boosted with fresh air and coupled with a healthy diet, vitamin supplements, and exercise, you can keep colds and flu at bay by spending time outdoors.      

How Much Time Should I Spend Outdoors Every Week?

Studies show that at least 120 minutes a week in nature is enough to boost physical health and mental wellbeing. Other studies state up to 3 hours per week to be ideal but depending on your work schedule and lifestyle, any time outdoors will benefit your health and mood. 

How to Stay Safe When Outdoors

  • Always tell someone where you’re going and what route you will take 
  • Dress accordingly 
  • Stay hydrated and wear sunscreen
  • Carry a cell phone and some cash for emergencies 
  • Don’t take any unnecessary risks by going off the beaten track 

Conclusion 

Physical and mental health is closely linked to physical activity and exposure to nature. 20 minutes of walking in the park can help you to reduce stress and sleep better. Being trapped indoors all day increases your risk of suffering anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders. Try some green exercise to boost immune function, heart health, and connect with mother nature on a spiritual level.