So Fresh, So Green

With the high supply and demand for the newest technology that is constantly consuming our lives, it causes us to spend more time inside of our homes. We now spend more hours indoors watching tv, on our computers, playing video games, or getting lost in social media on our phones. All of this technology not only distances us from our family but it also limits the amount of time we are spending outdoors getting the proper amount of sunlight and fresh air we need. When we spend time outdoors, it aids in a healthier mind, body and spirit, but those are but a few benefits.

In the article, 10 Reasons Why Being Outside is Important, science writer, Sydney Sprouse listed ten beneficial reasons why spending time outdoors is important. Spending time outdoors:

RELIEVES STRESS

Studies have shown that spending time outdoors reduces the stress hormone, cortisol. Being out in nature is free or low cost and is accessible to everyone. It gives you an opportunity to spend time with your family and friends because you can play outdoor games, go camping or just relax by the water (pool, lake, beach, etc.). Sprouse (2018) also wrote that “Nature can help create more job satisfaction. Office workers with window views are more satisfied and less stressed at work”.

STRENGTHENS IMMUNITY

Spending time outdoors increases your white blood cell count which is needed to fight diseases. According to Sprouse (2018), “They help your body battle germs by recognizing pathogens and harmful intruders with the help of antibodies”. The elevated white blood cells from time spent outside will become more efficient for weeks after your outdoor experience.

SHARPENS YOUR FOCUS

When children and adults spend time outdoors prior to doing homework, household chores, errands or other work, it will help your mind focus more on your tasks. It increases productivity and more concentration, especially when we do outdoor activities that exercise our cognitive function. Many outdoor areas do not even allow you to get great cellular reception, which helps reduce excess distraction. This is one of the reasons why many retreats are outdoors.

HELPS DEVELOP A HEALTHIER DIET

If you would like to start an outdoor hobby that has multiple benefits, try gardening! Not only does it keep you moving and allows you to get an adequate amount of sunlight and fresh air, it also gives you the opportunity to plant fresh fruits and vegetables that you would otherwise buy at the grocery store. You then know exactly what you are eating and it promotes healthier, cleaner eating, all the while saving you money!

CALMS THE MIND

Spending time outdoors allows your body and mind to recuperate from your busy and hectic life. When you breathe in the fresh air and take in the natural beauty, it helps you relieve your anxiety and appreciate all of the positive things in your life. It creates a peaceful mind and a happier you.

AIDS IN WEIGHT MANAGEMENT

When we are outdoors more, we are likely to engage in some form of physical activity whether that be taking a walk, hiking, or playing games with your family. This promotes weight management because you are keeping your body moving in a healthy, productive way instead of being a couch potato. When you engage in more physical activity, you may also motivate your children to spend time outside which will reduce obesity in your household.

IMPROVES SHORT-TERM MEMORY

By just spending 20 minutes out in nature, you can improve your short-term memory and working memory. Srudies have been done that help support this. This is due to the lack of cacophony that the city and our busy routines weigh on our minds. Having a clear, peaceful mind creates room for your short-term and working memory to work more efficiently.

IMPROVES VISION

Because you and your children are spending less time straining your eyes from looking at your electronic devices, you are improving your vision. The dim lighting indoors makes it hard for your eyes to focus but the bright natural outdoor light prevents your eyes from overworking.

INCREASES LONGEVITY

When you spend time outdoors or live near more greenery, you are not only getting a better quality of air but you may also become motivated to exercise more, which maintains a healthier heart and a healthier you.

ALLOWS YOU TO SPEND TIME WITH FAMILY/FRIENDS

Spending time outdoors makes for an opportunity to spend quality time with family and friends. Whether that be hanging by the pool, playing competitive outdoor games, or roasting marshmallows by a campfire, there are endless outdoor activities for you to choose from.

Spending time outdoors is vital to the well-being of your mind, body and spirit. We should all incorporate as much time spent outside in nature as we can. It will help us be more productive and efficient in our daily routine and work because we will feel happier and healthier from the fresh air, sunshine and natural beauty we have afforded ourselves to experience. Just 20 minutes a day could make a drastic change in your life so get outside and get moving!

References

Sprouse, S. (2018, February 26). 10 Reasons Why Being Outside is Important. Retrieved

April 16, 2019, from https://askthescientists.com/outdoors/

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