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The Benefits to Spending Time Outdoors

A Guide to Improved Mental and Physical Well-Being

Being outdoors can provide many physical and mental health benefits that are worth exploring. From reducing stress levels to improving cognitive skills, being outside in nature can have a direct and positive impact on one's wellbeing. Whether taking a walk in the park or camping away from the demands of everyday life, spending time in nature can be highly beneficial. In this guide, we will explore the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of being outdoors and how to maximize their potential for improved health and wellbeing.

The Benefits

Spending time outdoors is an important part of any healthy lifestyle. In today’s era of technology, work, and school it can be difficult to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and take some time to appreciate nature.

Physically, spending time outdoors provides fresh air, Vitamin D, and physical activity that helps strengthen the immune system.

  • Breathing in fresh air helps reduce the risk of respiratory illnesses, while also increasing oxygen levels in the body which helps improve circulation.

  • Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, and is needed for bone growth and development. It also helps boost the immune system, fight off illnesses, and reduce the risk of certain diseases such as diabetes and cancer.

  • Physical activity in the outdoors has also been shown to improve cardiovascular health, reduce stress hormones, and increase overall fitness.

Mentally, being in nature can help to improve cognitive skills and alertness.

  • When you are outside in the sun for a healthy amount of time, your body gets Vitamin D. This essential Vitamin plays an important role in maintaining mental health, as it can help reduce oms of depression, improve mood, and reduce stress (sharpening your cognitive skills).

  • Fresh air is known to help reduce stress and promote relaxation, while also improving sleep quality. Fresh air can provide a sense of calm and increased mental alertness, making it an important part of any healthy lifestyle.

The Reality of Our Everyday Challenges

The reality is many individuals or families are under tight time constraints and busy schedules. Maybe some of us would like to go outside but the weather (as of late) has been harsh, irregular, and in many areas extreme. In many major cities across the United States, the air is polluted and it may not be safe to walk around your neighborhood.

How can we Overcome the Obstacles?

To overcome these obstacles, it is important to take small steps to make it more feasible. Start by setting aside some time each day or week to go outdoors, even if it's just for a few minutes. If it's too cold or wet, try dressing appropriately or finding an indoor space with natural elements. Consider joining a nature club or outdoor activity group to make the experience fun and engaging.

What Activities Can We Do Outside?

  • Go on a walk with a friend, family member, or your dog

  • Find an open field with a group of friends or family to play baseball, kickball, softball, or cricket

  • Find a nice campground, some friends or family, and spend a weekend in nature

  • Watch the Sunset with friends at a beach, local mountains, a park, or a lake

  • Go on a bike ride around the neighborhood

  • Join Yoga in the park

  • If you live in an area where stars can be seen- stargaze

  • Create or maintain a garden

  • Help local non-profits with community cleanups

These are just a few ideas to get you started!

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