In our modern world, it can be difficult to make spending time outside a priority. Current estimations show that Americans spend up to 90% of their time indoors. Between the increase in technology and the fact that many people spend 8+ hours working in an office job, it can be easy to forget to spend time in nature. Spending time in the great outdoors is an innate need for humans, and we are here to share the top 5 health benefits of getting outside.
1. Vitamin D
It has been noted that almost 42% of Americans are vitamin D deficient, which has been linked to depression, cancer, heart disease, and the common cold. When you are outside, you are giving your body the exposure to the sun that it needs to absorb vitamin D. Ten to fifteen minutes of sun exposure a day promotes health and vitality and will increase your body's levels of vitamin D.
2. Fresh Air
Being outside allows your body to in inhale fresh air and take a break from poor quality air or pollution that can be in many offices, buildings, commercial buildings, and homes. When you are outside, you are exposed to more trees, which means that you are closer to the readily available, pure oxygen that your body craves.
3. Disconnect from Technology
Studies show that the average American has exposure to an average of 10+ hours of screen time a day. This amount of exposure to technology is not only taking away from the time that Americans used to spend in nature, but studies also show that too much exposure to such media can contribute to anxiety and depression. Combat the negative consequences of technology by going for a walk in the woods, a jog alongside a trail, or by playing a game outside with your kids, or dog, or whoever else is in your life that could also benefit from some time in the great outdoors.
4. Ease Anxiety and Stress
This point is somewhat related to point number three because one of the benefits of spending time outside is reduced stress and anxiety. Not only does going outside provide a break from technology, but the calming scenery of nature can promote a peaceful feeling and reduce feelings of stress and sadness. Viewing beautiful outdoor scenery can provide a boost of creativity. Spending time outside after a stressful meeting, conversation, or other situation can help an individual feel more grounded and stable. Instead of resorting to technology when stress or when feeling anxious, it may be beneficial to step outside and quite literally stop and smell the flowers.
5. Boost Your Immune System
Going outside and immersing yourself in nature has been shown to increase white blood cell production, which is what helps fight infections and diseases - including cancer. Such an increase in white blood cell production, along with the increase in vitamin D production that comes from being in the sun is a powerful, health-promoting combination.