5 Great Reasons to Get Outside More Often
Posted on February 28, 2017 by Sabina
These days most of us live a fast-paced, technology-packed lifestyle. Between work, household activities, watching television, connecting on social media, and more. We’re spending an average of 90 percent of our time indoors.
Unfortunately, all this indoor time is having a negative impact on our health. It’s time we unplugged and stepped outside. Here are 5 reasons why you should get outside more often. This March we're focusing on the great outdoors and this brings us to asking, why should we be spending more time outside?
1. More time outdoors means more Vitamin D
In addition to easing Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) symptoms, time spent in natural light gives our bodies a chance to soak up vital rays. Vitamin D helps ward off heart attacks, and may even improve several health conditions. Although we can obtain vitamin D from foods like salmon and cheese, we get 80 to 90 percent of it from the sun. But don’t forget to smear on some SPF if you’re going to be outside for longer than a few minutes. Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean the sun won’t damage your skin.
Your body’s best source of vitamin D is the sun. Try to get at least 15 minutes of direct sun exposure on your skin every day. (You can also take a daily D3 supplement of 600-800 IUs.)
2. It will get you moving
When we go outside, we naturally move more. It seems to come with the territory. According to research, people who got more sun also tend to be more physically active.
Research has also found that those who run or bike outside exert more energy and burn more calories than those who use treadmills or stationary bikes. Other research has found that people enjoy exercising outdoors more and are therefore likely to do it for longer, resulting in more calories burnt.
We're fortunate enough to have access to some of the best countryside in the UK, so you can get moving as well as enjoying the most beautiful surroundings.
3. Nature can restore your focus
We often take our ability to focus for granted. We treat it as something that should just happen when we need it to, but what allows us to focus in the first place?
Ultimately, the parts of your brain that is responsible for directing your attention, relies on a source of energy in order to function. And like your muscles, your brain runs out of energy if it’s in constant use without a break.
Busy environments constantly demand focus and attention. Television, smartphones, neon signs, traffic jams, crowds of people, lines, noise pollution—all incredibly mentally fatiguing. Which is why; here at Greatlittlebreaks we're urging you to take a little time to get outside, enjoy nature and store some of that lost focus.
4. Improved short-term memory
In one study, students were given a brief memory test, then divided into two groups.
One group took a walk around an arboretum, and the other half took a walk down a city street. When the participants returned and did the test again, those who had walked among trees did almost 20% percent better than the first time.
The group who had taken in city sights instead did not consistently improve. Another similar study on depressed individuals also found that walks in nature boosted working memory much more than walks in urban environments.
5. You'll practice mindfulness, naturally
Setting aside your busy day and immerse yourself into nature. This has been proven to make you more aware of your surroundings. Hearing the rustle of leaves, and the songs of the birds will allow you to relax and is mindfulness meditation at its most simple.
You can get most of these benefits even with sporadic exposure to nature. Even if you can only get out of the city infrequently, it will improve your health in countless ways. What are you waiting for? Head off on the perfect countryside adventure and enjoy the great outdoors!
Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is general in nature and for informational purposes. It is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. None of the statements on this site are a recommendation as to how to treat any particular disease or health-related condition. If you suspect you have a disease or health-related condition of any kind, you should contact your health care professional immediately. Please read all product packaging carefully and consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise, supplementation or medication program.