Benefits of the outdoors
We live in a time where most would rather sit at home than engage in outdoor activities. But once you decide to change that, you will want to spend all your days surrounded by the beauty of nature. Not only does being in nature improve your general mood, but it also benefits your health, intelligence, and social skills. How can it possibly do that? Read on to learn more.
Going hiking and spending time doing a range of outdoor activities can be extremely beneficial for your health. The movement that you engage in may help lower blood pressure, decrease the risk of diabetes and keep your body generally fit, strong and healthy.
In addition, outdoor activities help you absorb sunlight, therefore increasing your vitamin D levels. This, and the constant movement, maintain your overall health and strengthen your immune system, helping you fight risks and diseases.
Many believe that frequent hiking trips may reduce eyesight deterioration in children, especially outdoor spotting games. There is no direct evidence to support this claim, but it may help sharpen the intelligence in children nevertheless.
Outdoor workouts and challenges keep your strength high and improve your stamina. Activities such as hiking and mountain climbing, if done often, will optimize your muscle strength and keep your bones healthy.
Mental and emotional benefits
Aside from all the physical benefits, being in the outdoors can really help clear your head and keep you calm. Studies have shown that spending time in nature can reduce stress and lead to an improved mood. In case of increased anxiety, a stroll outside can help you ground yourself. Just take note of things you can smell, hear, see, and touch, and it should calm you down in no time.
Other research has shown that participants in a 9-week outdoor program reported a decrease in feelings of depression, hopelessness, and intrusive thoughts.
While there is no direct connection between exercise and the outdoors and mental health, this gives evidence that it still does help somehow.
As a result of reduced stress and an improved mood, outdoor activities will boost your self-esteem. A heightened sense of confidence improves social skills which may help in career situations.
Spending time in nature creates the perfect opportunity to bond with your friends and family, and possibly get to know them on another level. Whether you are hiking, camping, sailing, or something else, these fun hobbies give you a great chance to have an enjoyable social event. Conflicts are best resolved in outdoor settings as well, as there are no distractions as it is easier to achieve peace of mind and resolve any issues.
The important safety procedures needed in the outdoors help develop a sense of self-control. This reduces the risk of a dangerous rebellion and ensures a heightened sense of discipline and rational rule of following.
Last but not least, outdoor activities spark creative interest, aiding in creativity in artistic careers. Hiking trips may also lead you to historical sites, teaching you much about the history of the land you wander on.
Foraging in the outdoors is a great way to test your mind as well. Identifying flora (and fauna) will keep your mind sharp, and prepare you for survival situations.
Time in nature is also said to improve concentration. A 2009 study, “Journal of Attention Disorders”, shows that a minimum of 20 minutes in the outdoors results in increased focus.
The National Center for Physical Development and Outdoor Play reports that playing improves children’s ability to process and remember information. The outdoor factor helps the children discover new things, as well as learn without the pressure of a classroom.
In conclusion, the outdoor activity offers a wide range range of benefits: intellectual, social, physical, and mental. It is definitely recommended that you spend time in nature often to ensure your health stays at its best.
Written by Yara Farah
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