It’s natural human instinct to pine for the outdoors, and it’s due to a primal instinct that is still ingrained in our psyche to yearn for the relief of the open. But it comes down to more than just instinct, there are physical benefits to leaving the city lights and breathing fresh, clean air.
Research is increasingly illuminating the rich and measurable benefits of being in nature. And the beauty of it is that nature has no set formula: some of us like to fish, hunt, hike, kayak, jog or simply take pictures of the perfect sunset.
- Feel Better Emotionally: We all know how we feel when we indulge in our favorite outdoor activity, exhilarated, calm, relaxed, fortified, and restored.
- Feel Better Physically: Time spent in nature is associated with a decrease in blood pressure, sympathetic nerve activity, and heart rate.
- Have a Better Workout: Several studies have shown that having a “green” workout leaves subjects feeling increased energy, greater revitalization, less depression, and less anger when they exercised outdoors versus exercising indoors.
- Feel Better Mentally: Being outdoors replenishes voluntary attention, help those with ADHD, and enhances brain connectivity for more efficient focus.
All the research also points to the fact that time in nature most powerfully nurtures us when we’re most “at risk” – of disease, depression, or desperation.
So whether you take an outdoor vacation, simply take an afternoon trip, or step outside your office for a lunch break in a public park, it’s important to expose yourself to the health benefits of nature on a regular basis. Health Fitness Revolution recommends being outdoors at least twice a week for an hour to start noticing the benefits long-term.