How to Boost Your Mental Health by Going Outdoors

With the ongoing pandemic situation, a lot of us are spending more time inside.

Depending on where you live, you may or may not spend much time outdoors. You may or may not have a lifestyle that is integrated with being outside, and you may or may not know the direct benefits that come from spending quality time in nature. Whether you are tuned-in entirely to the wonders that come from being out of the house or have no experience with outdoor activities – there is literally a world waiting for you.

Studies have shown the dramatic benefits that being outside has on physical and mental health. We are designed specifically to be rejuvenated and nourished by fresh air and the vitamins and minerals that come from being in the sun and among the elements. Our human bodies were designed with the expectation to be outside and operate better when outdoor activities are a common practice.

Let’s look at unexpected ways that going outside makes an impact on our bodies and mental health

Better Scenery- From a hike in the woods to walking the beach, being outside offers scenery that is breathtaking. Whether exploring your backyard and all of the wonders you have locally or traveling – domestic and foreign – there is unlimited opportunity to see the wonders of the world. Taking in the beauty of nature elevates your compassion, your self-esteem, your appreciation, and your understanding of a world bigger than yourself.

Better Bones- Vitamin D is found most readily in nature. Being in the sun daily from 5 to 15 minutes can increase the levels of Vitamin D in your body. When the sun is absorbed through the arms, hands, and face, Vitamin D works to develop stronger bones. Though long exposure to sun at peak times – usually 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. – can be damaging, responsible exposure to the sun is an important part of staying healthy and building stronger bones.

Better Mood- Light and dark work in tandem to create hormones that regulate mood. Being in the sun increases serotonin which supports energy, happiness, and mood during the day. Melatonin is produced at night which helps with restful and restorative sleep. Being in the sun regularly can prevent depression and increase energy levels.

Better Skin- Some skin conditions like eczema and acne benefit from sunlight. The healing and drying properties that come from the sun can reduce the frequency and intensity of some skin conditions.

Better Health- Being in nature generally requires movement. Whether hiking, biking, swimming, walking, running, or simply playing with your children, there are limitless ways to be outside. Being active – rain or shine – builds healthy muscles, and fresh air clears your mind and removes stress. The more you are outdoors, the more you are incorporating movement with your lifestyle and your overall health will improve.

Being outdoors is one of the easiest ways to reduce stress, enjoy nature, and build a better body inside and out. Find new ways to enjoy being outside and discover a fresh new perspective and a renewed body.