People nowadays have a technology-packed lifestyle; they are spending most of their time indoors. You have to try to remember the days of your childhood, when the only place where you wanted to be out was in nature. You couldn’t wait to wake up in the morning to explore the forest from the back of your grandparents’ house. They probably had to plead with you and even beg you to convince you to come inside to eat and change your clothes.
The fact is that people are connected to nature, but in the present, they tend to ignore this connection and they prefer to spend around 90% of their time indoors. However, science states that you have to go outside if you want to live a healthier life. You should not make from spending time in nature, an exception; it should be your number one rule of living healthy. The annual camping trip is not enough, it is wonderful, but you need to integrate nature more in your daily life.
Today we are looking at the reasons backed by science that promote outdoor activities.
Outdoor air pollution is less harmful than indoor air pollution
It should worry you that the indoor pollutants are placed among the top five environmental risks to human health.
Some people have the misconception that they protect themselves from breathing polluted air if they stay inside their house. The Environmental Protection Agency states that the air in your house is not better than the one from nature, especially if we are talking about a big city like Los Angeles. Studies concluded that the concentration of indoor pollutants is 2-5 times higher than the one of the outdoor ones. Actually when it comes to California, the Air Resources Board states that the indoor air pollutants levels are higher with 25-60 percent than the outdoors ones.
It should worry you that the indoor pollutants are placed among the top five environmental risks to human health. When inside your house or office building, you expose yourself to carbon monoxide, chemicals, volatile organic compounds, formaldehyde and other harmful particles for your health.
Spending time in nature can boost your immune system
Doctors often refer to the time spent outdoors as “forest bathing”. Studies show that if you spend time weekly walking among the trees in a park or forest, you will boost your immune system. A study shows that after the participants inhaled the particles from the wood of the trees, the activity of their natural killer cells increased. The effects of the walk lasted even 30 days later, when the blood tests have been repeated. If you want to boost your activity levels, you should do more than just walking among the trees, you can add a new activity to your schedule. Go hiking with a backpack, go camping monthly, spend more than a few hours outdoors, sleep outdoors one night, practice a sport when in the park. bounty-hunter-metal-detector.com states that the persons who do not have the physical condition to jog in nature, can use a metal detector to get the most of the time they spend outdoors. If you know that you easily get bored from walking, adventuring yourself in an activity that allows you to discover treasures can help you spend more time in nature.
Nature can help you fight fatigue
After working 8 hours a day, 5 days a week in a closed office, your brain may feel a little foggy, and you may feel extra tired. Sometimes, when the weekend comes, you have no energy to get involved in activities that could relax you. Researchers state that this state is mental fatigue, and it does not always come together with physical fatigue. The best way to get yourself back into gear is to spend time in nature, in a restorative environment. Studies show that the mental energy levels of humans can bounce back only when they look at photos of nature. If you will look at photos of city landscapes, you will not have the same benefits. Nature can clear the fog your brain experiences, do no refuse yourself this opportunity.
Outdoor activities can improve your physical health
When suffering from a health issue, people are often advised to start including exercises in their lifestyle, and to switch their diet to a healthier one. Nowadays, doctors also prescribe spending time outdoors, because it works similarly to getting vitamins and minerals. Spending time in nature does not imply only an active lifestyle, but also exposing yourself to the sunshine. When you do outdoor activities, you allow your body to soak the light of the sun and make vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential in preventing complex health problems like cancers, heart diseases and osteoporosis. The researchers from the University of Edinburgh discovered that if you expose yourself to the sun, your body would produce nitric oxide, a compound that is effective in lowering your blood pressure.
Nature can boost your short-term memory
People nowadays often state that they are big forgetfuls, and they are in a constant search for a remedy. Multiple studies have shown that the persons who spend time walking in nature have registered improved effects on their memory. A walk in the city or at the mall will not boost your short-term memory, but the way a walk in the forest will do.
One study was based on the walks two groups of people did. The first group walked on the street of a city, and the other group walked in the forest. When the participants returned, they were asked to perform the same test. The results showed that the group who spend time in nature did with more than 20% better than the other group.
Spending time outdoors help you with your sleep
Your natural circadian rhythm and melatonin are the main factors that influence the quality of your sleep. But these factors are also affected by something else, by the sunlight, and the time you expose yourself to light. Your sleep cycle will be negatively affected if you spend too much time indoors and you isolate yourself from the main source of your body’s natural rhythms. In order for your sleep patterns to improve, you should spend daily around 60 minutes outdoors.