For those who tend not to make the outdoors part of their regular routine, it can be difficult to understand just how valuable time spent in nature can be. Numerous studies have demonstrated (and continue to demonstrate) the benefits natural landscapes have on individual well-being, from reducing stress and blood pressure to improving mood.
These benefits, however, are not limited to the type of activity you might hear about. Reducing one’s stress, for example, doesn’t solely require extensive forest bathing or a yoga session in the desert (though these are often well-celebrated). In fact, some outdoor activities can be exciting or easily worked into a busy schedule. To show you how, and hopefully make nature a more significant part of your routine, here are six ways getting outdoors can improve your health.
Improved Immune System
Those who haven’t plunged themselves regular into a cold sea might think the activity is absurd. However, cold water swimmers continue to attest to the wonders that a frosty immerse has upon their life, from increasing energy levels and mental clarity to improving immune systems. So, while it might seem difficult to get over the initial chill, it can be hugely beneficial to your health.
Testing the body, whether through exertion or cold water immersion, causes heart rates to increase blood flow so that your body can remain at a stable temperature. This physical pressure, when experienced in controlled and regular ways, such as through exercise, can improve the body’s long-term circulatory health.
Destressing is increasingly important, especially as our lives can quickly become increasingly fast-paced and challenging. Many are even seeking ways to work relaxation into some of their favorite activities. Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), for example, has opened up opportunities for SUP yoga, with individuals and groups making their way out and onto the water for a serene session of meditation.
Residents of urban areas may be familiar with the problems of pollution. Seeking out natural spaces can be worthwhile solely for the opportunity to embrace fresh and clean air. It has been shown that clean air improves cognition and mental acuity, which is a great reason to spend time outdoors, whether at a local park or strolling through woodland, so as to step away from urban areas and into nature.
Being physically active is one of the best ways in which individuals can improve and prolong their health. Not only does exercise help to improve our stamina and strength, while also reducing cholesterol levels and body fat, but it improves our mental health too.
As such, taking a long stroll or brief run in nature, both of which can generally be incorporated into a routine without issue, can dramatically improve well-being.
Adding an outdoor activity to your schedule can be a great way to spend time with other people. A number of landscapes make a great setting for social events, whether a game of football, a bike ride, or even a wild swim. This means that the health benefits of nature need not be solely enjoyed alone but with other people.