Spending time outdoors has countless health benefits, many of which we tend to overlook in our modern, fast-paced lives. However, finding a few moments every day for a dose of sunshine, fresh air, and beautiful sights can enhance our well-being in a multitude of ways. From helping you stick to your fitness routine to improving mental well-being, here are the health-related reasons to spend more time outdoors.
Boost Your Immune System
Making an effort to go outside can help strengthen your immune system. Spending most of your time indoors or in sterile environments puts your immune system out of practice. It isn’t accustomed to identifying and fighting off dangerous microorganisms, which means even small and benign microorganisms can set it off. This can lead to chronic inflammation and other long-term health conditions.
Spending time in nature surrounded by plants and trees exposes you to natural compounds that help strengthen your immune system. Similarly, exposure to microorganisms that exist in nature helps you develop resistance to various infections. By stepping outside, you’re not only enjoying the great outdoors but also doing a favor for your body’s defense mechanisms.
Enhance Your Workout Routine
Any kind of fitness is great, but exercising while outside can boost your routine. The change of scenery and fresh air make exercise more enjoyable, which means you’re more likely to stick to your fitness habit.Plus, many people find it easier to push themselves harder when they’re in an outdoor environment. Instead of forcing yourself through the motions in a gym, you can bask in the fresh air, sunshine, and natural environment. Outdoor exercise is more exhilarating, which makes it easier to keep going and stay motivated.
Outdoor workouts can include jogging, hiking, biking, outdoor yoga classes, and even calisthenics in the park—to name just a few. With so much variety, there’s bound to be an outdoor activity that suits your fitness level and preferences.
Get Your Vitamin D
Another excellent health-related reason to spend more time outdoors is the opportunity to soak up some sunshine and boost your vitamin D levels. Direct exposure to sunlight boosts vitamin D production in the body, and higher vitamin D levels are crucial for maintaining healthy bones, muscles, and nerves. Vitamin D also helps improve your mood and boost your immune system.
While you can obtain vitamin D through certain foods and supplements, the most natural and effective way to absorb it is by spending time in the sunlight. Just make sure you protect your skin from UV exposure by wearing sunscreen or protective clothing.
Preserve Your Eyesight
Did you know that spending time outside is great for your eye health, too? In children, outdoor activities can even help lower the risk of developing nearsightedness. The reason for this is quite simple: when you’re indoors, you tend to focus on objects that are close to you. This is especially true if you’re glued to a screen or constantly engaged in desk work.
By stepping outside, you give your eyes the opportunity to focus on objects in the distance, exercising your eyesight and helping you maintain optimal vision. Furthermore, natural light provides a broader range of light wavelengths for your eyes to process, which can help preserve your vision.
Lower Anxiety Levels
Spending time outside isn’t just good for your physical health; it’s also beneficial for your mental well-being. Natural light and plenty of plant life work together to lower stress levels, frustration, and anxiety.
Additionally, when you’re outside, you’re more likely to engage in physical activities. Even if you’re just going on a casual walk, physical activity helps lower stress hormones and boost serotonin, both of which help lessen symptoms of anxiety.
The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed by stress or anxiety, consider stepping outside and taking in the natural beauty that surrounds you. Your mind and body will thank you for it.
Maintain Your Circadian Rhythm
Your circadian rhythm is your body’s internal clock that helps you feel alert during the day and fall asleep at night. One crucial aspect of maintaining a healthy circadian rhythm is exposure to natural light. Artificial lighting simply doesn’t do the trick when it comes to helping the body’s sense of time. If you don’t get enough sunlight during the day—or if you get too much blue light exposure from screens—you’re more likely to experience difficulty falling and staying asleep.
To improve your sleep routine and ensure your body knows when it’s time for rest, make a point to get outside and soak up some sunlight. Whether it’s a short walk during your lunch break or a weekend hike, spending time in the sun will do wonders for you. Reset your internal clock, improve your sleep routine, and preserve your overall physical and mental well-being with time in the great outdoors.
Reduce Stress Levels
Stepping outside and immersing yourself in nature—whether it’s walking through a park, hiking in the woods, or simply relaxing in your own backyard—can help significantly reduce stress levels. Nature’s calming atmosphere can help clear your mind and provide a space for tranquility. Incorporating outdoor activities into your daily routine can help you achieve a better balance between work, personal life, and mental well-being, which ultimately reduces your overall stress levels.
Lower stress levels can improve your physical health, too. Adding outdoor activity to your daily routine can help lower blood pressure, which in turn lowers your risk of dangerous heart conditions, kidney damage, and more.
Step Away From Overstimulation
The modern world is full of screens, distractions, and other things that constantly demand your attention. Even casual, daily activities like working on your computer or checking social media notifications can cause your stress levels to rise if you don’t give yourself a break. Heading outside—away from the beeps, buzzes, and flashes of your devices—gives you a chance to unplug and recharge. Plus, nature is naturally soothing, and spending time surrounded by the breeze, sunshine, and birdsong is a good way to bring more focus, relaxation, and positivity into your life.
As a Colorado clothing company, YoColorado is proud to offer the best outdoor apparel for adventurers of every kind. Gear up with T-shirts, jackets, hats, and more, then step outside and experience all the wonderful things nature has to offer. Whether you’re enjoying a moment of peace on a casual walk or pushing your limits with hiking, rock climbing, or outdoor sports, your mind and body will thank you.