Research-Backed Health Benefits of Spending Time Outdoors
Spending time outdoors is no doubt fun for a many people, especially when it begins to warm up. But did you know this actually comes with health benefits? And no, they’re not some imagined or presumed benefits. These claims are supported by science.
For one, spending time outdoors helps reduce stress. That’s one example of a short-term benefit. A long-term benefit is the encouragement you get to become more physically active. Then again, sun exposure is already a given, plus the fact that you can inhale purer air. These are the ways nature time benefits your health over the long term.
Did you know that spending more time in green space is associated with cardiovascular disease protection? According to another study, people who spend more time outside have 12% lower risk of death from any cause except accidents. This positive effect is particularly strong in terms of respiratory conditions such as asthma and even cancer. Even mental health is benefited by outdoor time, even if it’s only in your garden.
The heart-protective benefits of outdoor time can be attributed to its stress-busting effect. Remember that stress is always accompanied by an increase in your body’s cortisol levels, which is damaging to your heart. When your stress are in check, so are your cortisol levels, which reduces your overall risk of developing heart problems.
But of course, while the short-term health advantages of sun exposure – more vitamin D, less stress, healthier heart, etc. – are easy to see, that’s not where they end. When these short-term effects continue, they can protect you long-term by guarding your body against Illness, especially in terms of stress management. Aside from improving your heart’s health through stress reduction, your immune system also becomes stronger, leading to reduced chances of illness.
It’s common knowledge that stress is a huge contributor to chronic health issues, from weight gain to diabetes and more. According to a recent study, by taking a conscious effort to reduce stress, a person who has had a heart attack can cut their chances of having one by 50%.
Vitamin D is, of course, important for good mental health as well as for immunity. For those who have weight issues, sunshine can help curb appetite and boost metabolism. Exercise is among the best ways of being healthier, and avoiding air pollution is an obvious yet often taken for granted way of preventing respiratory disease.
All in all, when you spend more time close to nature, there are several ways of improving your health, from stress reduction to fighting depression to maintaining a healthy weight to preventing life-threatening diseases such as cancer and more.
Best of all, spending time outdoors gives you the chance to commune with yourself, even if you are in the company of other people. Something about nature creates this urge to touch deep into your soul and increase self-awareness, which most definitely includes an innate desire to improve life, beginning with improving health.