When it comes to improving health and longevity, most people assume that the most complicated approach is the best one. They think that they need to eat a restrictive diet, workout for several hours each week, and take a whole host of strange supplements. It’s true that there is merit in eating a balanced diet, exercising, and taking some nutritional supplements. But, health doesn’t have to be as difficult as people make it out to be.
Keeping Things Simple
Sometimes, just making a few simple changes can have a big impact on your overall health and happiness. One of the simplest things you can do if you want to be healthier is to just spend some time outside each day. The sun produces a wide spectrum of nourishing radiation that has been found by researchers to support our health. Advanced therapies such as infrared light and infrared saunas leverage this knowledge for novel treatments.
This simple act can help sustain a better balance and help you start feeling better in no time!
Moreover, for those looking to keep things simple, just walking outside for a few minutes each day can give your body the sunlight it craves. Whether your bathing in the forest or simply taking a stroll in the park—these simple acts can help sustain a better balance and help you start feeling better in no time! In this article, you’ll find eight short and inspiring reasons why you should get up and get outside each and every day.
Cultivate Less Stress
Spending time outdoors has been proven to lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol. One study found that, when Chinese students took a break from school to hike and camp outdoors, they returned with significantly lower cortisol levels. Their cortisol also remained lower for several days after their trip. Cortisol is intimately related to overall measurable stress levels. Maintaining healthy cortisol levels is a great first step in maintaining healthy stress levels (you do need some!)
Strengthen Your Immune System
Getting outside regularly can also boost your immune system. This is because your immune actually system works best when it’s challenged with exposure to a wide variety of germs and pathogens. Without this exposure, the immune system has a harder time handling pathogens, and your chances of getting sick increase. One study found that a three-day forest trip increased the number of white blood cells in participants’ bloodstream. White blood cell levels stayed elevated for over a month after the trip.
If you’re having a hard time paying attention at work or school, spending time outside can make a huge difference. Spending just twenty minutes outside has been shown to work wonders for children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Adults can also benefit from short breaks outdoors during the workday. It’s all about the actions you take every day. Setting aside as few as fifteen minutes to walk outside each day can have a dramatic impact on your body! Consider this before you muck around trying to find the perfect supplements for focus.
Stabilize Anxiety and Mood
For people who struggle with depression and/or anxiety, spending time in nature can be especially beneficial. Regular time outdoors has been shown to reduce physical symptoms associated with anxiety, including elevated blood pressure and heart rate.
Taking time to go outside can also trigger the release of endorphins, feel-good chemicals that improve your mood and bring on feelings of positivity.
For people with mobility issues, a walk or bike ride outside might not seem feasible but aids like a mobility scooter can help or you can even get sufficient outdoor exposure by simply sitting on your lawn. The idea here is to get outside by any means necessary!
Support Short-Term Memory
Spending time outside can also improve your short-term memory. If you’re constantly forgetting where you put your keys, sitting outside or taking a walk around the block on a regular basis might help. Students also tend to have an easier time remembering information for tests when they walk outside first.
Supplements such as phosphatidylserine have shown remarkable benefits for cognitive performance. However, supplements aren’t always optimal or affordable choices for everyone. Having a freely accessible option for supporting natural cognitive health, such as walking outside, is a tremendous tool in working to develop and maintain balanced health. Here’s an article with a great overview of how interacting with nature can help boost cognitive performance.
Support Your Vision
Being outside on a regular basis can protect your eyes and make it easier for you to focus. Research specifically shows that kids who spend time outdoors are less likely to become nearsighted. In a four-year follow-up to assess school-aged children, researchers found that time outside correlated with reduced risk of nearsightedness.
This might have to with the fact that, when kids are playing outside, they’re probably not staring intently at a phone or computer screen, nor are they straining against fluorescent indoor lighting. Adults who already have vision problems can also benefit from more outdoors time. After all, when did taking a break from the screen ever hurt anyone?
Increased Vitamin D Levels
Vitamin D is essential for proper immune system function, healthy bones, and a balanced mood. If you’re not going out in the sun on a regular basis, you’re likely deficient in this important vitamin. The type of sunlight radiation responsible for helping our bodies make Vitamin D doesn’t work when blocked by glass, Plexiglas, or other similarly translucent surfaces.
You have to bask in sunlight to get the benefits! This highlights another important reason why actually being outside is essential to supporting our natural state of vibrant health.
Finally, time outdoors can actually increase your lifespan! People who spend time outdoors regularly and live near areas where they have access to a park, lawn, or forest are especially prone to longer lifespans.
Areas that contain vegetation (lawns, trees, forests, etc.) tend to have better air quality. People who live close to parks and forests also tend to exercise more frequently. Time outside also improves mental health, which, in turn, can promote longevity and a better quality of life. As a specific example, research has shown that sunlight exposure reduces mortality rates for major cardiovascular disease and some cancers!
The human body has evolved alongside the sun. It is the fuel by which our planet is able to provide us with a habitable environment. Our modern lifestyles have found us receiving less and less direct sunlight exposure each day and research suggests that might have a negative impact on long-term health. The next time you’re sitting around the house wondering why you don’t feel as good as you like, go outside and consider the same question. Once outside, don’t be surprised if you suddenly don’t feel so grim!