The Physical and Mental Benefits of The Great Outdoors

by Charlie Nagle

For a few months now, due to quarantine measures, people have been forced to stay within the realms of their own household. Now, more than ever, is it important to realize the need for physical activity to keep your mind sharp and your body in shape.

The benefits of leaving your own home and venturing outdoors, obviously taking into account health measures (mask, social distance, etc.) has tremendous benefits for your overall health.  Here is a list of all the significant and awesome benefits:

  • Daily Dose of Vitamin D

  • Otherwise known as the “sunshine vitamin,” Vitamin D is extremely important for regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorus while boosting your immune system. 90% of the Vitamin D our body produces is due to exposure to the sun.

    One study showed that Vitamin D plays an important role in regulating mood and treating depressive symptoms Another study showcased that Vitamin D helps protect against heart disease and strokes.

  • Natural Sunlight Helps Mitigate Pain

  • If you are ever in pain or feeling a bit more sore than usual, take a step outside for a bit and walk around. One study evaluated whether the “amount of sunlight in a hospital room modifies a patient's psychosocial health, the quantity of analgesic medication used, and the pain medication cost.” The researchers found that patients exposed to more sunlight experienced “less perceived stress, marginally less pain, and took less analgesic medication per hour.”

  • Being in Nature Boosts Energy Levels
  • Instead of having an extra cup of coffee today, you could quickly take some time to venture outdoors and enjoy nature because it has been shown to boost energy levels. One study showed that “spending time in nature makes people feel more alive.”

  • Daily Physical Activity Benefits Vision

  • Take a break from looking at an electronic screen every now and then and explore the outdoors. Not right now, since you are learning vital information. :) One study found that 30 minutes of daily outdoor activity reduces the advancement of nearsightedness, otherwise known as myopia. Myopia is the inability to see things clearly unless they are close to your eyes. 

  • The Outdoors Significantly Boosts your Immune System

  • Spending time outdoors is probably the easiest way to stay healthy and prevent your body from getting sick. “Research has found evidence that spending time in nature provides protections against a startling range of diseases, including depression, diabetes, obesity, ADHD, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and many more.” 

    To sum it all up, I think it’s pretty safe to say that exposing yourself to the beautiful outdoors has significant benefits, both mentally and physically. "Forest-bathing" (or walking in the woods) has even been listed as a top trend for 2020 as it promotes physical and mental recovery.

    Here is something you could give a shot: Try working outside for 20 minutes instead of sitting at the same desk you’ve been working at since quarantine started.  Take a call outside or bring a notebook and do some deep thinking.

    What is your favorite outdoor escape spot? Send us a note