If you spend your days staring at a screen, it can impact all aspects of your health — including mental health. While technology is often necessary for work and connecting with others, research suggests that spending time outdoors can benefit your body and mind in amazing ways.
Even if you get enough sleep, sometimes you might notice that your mind still isn’t functioning optimally. It’s often referred to as “mental fatigue.” Spending time in nature can give you the energy boost you’re looking for. One study even found that looking at photos of nature provided similar benefits.
Improving Short-Term Memory
Nature walks have been shown to increase short-term memory. In one University of Michigan study, a nature walk improved memory by almost 20% when compared to a walk in an urban area. In other studies, nature walks have even been shown to increase creativity.
Fighting Anxiety and Depression
There are numerous mental health benefits that stem from outdoor activity, but a decrease in anxiety and depression are just two examples. Being outdoors is especially helpful for those with Seasonal Affective Disorder, even on days when the weather is bad.
It’s been discovered that outdoor activity might protect eyes from developing nearsightedness, especially in children.
Your immune system is what protects your body from colds, flus and other infections. While research is still developing, it is thought that spending more time outside might reduce the likelihood of many serious medical conditions. For example, spending time in nature might stimulate your body to produce anti-cancer proteins. Spending time outdoors might also reduce inflammation throughout your body, which can lead to other serious ailments, and lower blood pressure.
We all have busy schedules, so sometimes it’s difficult to find time for outdoor activity. However, getting into the routine of spending more time outside can have numerous health benefits, many of which are still being discovered.
Here are some great ways to get your body moving while enjoying the outdoors:
- Hiking in nature
- Walking your dog
- Playing soccer with your children
- Doing yoga in your backyard
As you can see, there are options to fit anyone’s preferences and activity level. Just taking small steps everyday to increase the amount of time you spend outside can lead to a healthier life.