10 Reasons the Outdoors are Good for Your Soul

It’s no accident you feel refreshed, happy and ready for more when you get in from even the smallest adventures in the outdoors. It’s science! Here’s why:

  1. It helps to burn fat, improve cardio health and build muscles. Going outdoors for a walk, run or cycle – even if it’s just 20 minutes a day – can drastically help your overall health. It will also help reduce the risk of major illnesses (such as heart disease, strokes, type 2 diabetes and cancer) by up to 50%
  2. Increases your creative side and boosts focus. It’s easy to get lost in this busy life sorting out meetings, and reminders, and news and dates – and unfortunately all of that results in suppressing your creativity! Taking it outside for a long weekend of backpacking, or even just a brisk walk, can help you solve problems or come up with the next major invention!
  3. A gentle hike or ride helps boost your self-esteem. Simply exercising – especially when it is for transportation, like cycling to work and back every day – can help increase your self-worth enormously. Being in control of your body without having the pressures of racing or timing yourself, helps increase confidence levels, body image issues, and self-esteem!
  4. It tops of your Vitamin D levels! Apparently, 85 percent of Americans have a Vitamin D deficiency – which is the vitamin that helps prevent chronic diseases, fights infections and boosts immune systems. Getting outside regularly to lap up that sunlight is an easy and fun way to top your Vitamin D levels up! The more time you spend outdoors, the easier it will be to keep your levels up.13392734_257489984610530_251408079_n
  5. It makes you happy! Those with active lifestyles have reported to be in better moods and have more of a positive outlook than those who don’t get out and about as much. When you begin to exercise outdoors, your body releases endorphins that up your happiness. Also, a Scottish study showed that exercises outdoors in nature have a lower risk of poor mental health than those who choose indoor facilities.
  6. Nature sounds good. Believe it or not, sounds have a huge impact on our health and wellbeing, with natural sounds being the most reassuring and calming. Think bird songs, waterfalls and whales!
  7. You’ll be less stressed. Whether it’s getting outside to burn some frustrated energy, or just going to breath, listen and think, the outdoors will help drastically reduce your stress levels. In fact, just the smell of trees and plants helps slow down your breathing and reduces anxiety!
  8. It has healing potential. Many studies have found spending time in the woods increases white blood cell counts – the things that help fight viruses and tumors. In fact, Swedish research indicates that even a view of trees from a window can help improve rates of recovery! 
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    Pic: Stephanie White
  9. You’ll get smarter! According to Psychological Science, interacting with natures gives your brain a break from overstimulation, and allows a restorative effect on your attention levels. In turn, this helps you solve problems, finish assignments, and brain storm how you’re going to take over the world!
  10. Dark skies help set our biological clocks. According to the American Medical Association, many species – including humans! – need darkness to survive and thrive. In today’s world of 24/7 business, light pollution can thwart this need. So, spending time camping and taking in those dark nights can help set our body’s clocks which in turn releases the hormone melatonin – something linked to reducing the risk of breast cancer!

 

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