Find Out Why Everything Just Gets Better Outdoors
The tendency to be indoors in front of a screen is fairly epidemic in our culture. It is broken up somewhat by using a mobile phone and taking our job on the road. But overall, our outdoor time still lags and there are some good reasons why it should not.
Researchers now tell us greater outdoor time creates a better mood, guarantees faster metabolism and sharpens concentration and memory.
Check out the benefits of spending time outside:
- Speedy Weight Loss. Research shows an early morning cardio before breakfast can burn up to 20 percent more calories.
- Vitamin D Levels Go Up. Sunlight hitting the skin is a natural vitamin booster. Studies suggest that Vitamin D helps fight osteoporosis, cancer, depression and heart attacks. Moderate sun exposure (don’t overdo it) supplemented with vitamin D pills if necessary, is a good health regimen.
- Beat Belly Fat. People who live near trees and parks have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in their saliva than those who live in the center of a city, according to weight researchers. Being outdoors also decreases blood pressure, improves heart rate, and helps reduce anxiety.
- Walking off a down mood really works. How many times have you headed outside for a walk and been preoccupied with your thoughts only to return refreshed with a lot of new ideas, and even a few smiles? Researchers say all of that outdoor light, air and greenness really can sweep our stress away.
- When your brain fogs over there is a way out. Researchers studied individuals’ reactions to their surroundings, showing the effect of a peaceful park setting for a daytime break created the effect of meditation. On the other hand, the effect of a busy city street produced feelings of frustration and anxiety.
- Make it a policy to get outdoors at lunch in a park or near a beach. Also try to take 15 minute morning and afternoon exercise breaks outside.
- Create an outdoor retreat for yoga, meditation, or a 10 minute exercise routine. Your patio, a small space on your balcony, or a spot in your backyard could easily serve as an outdoor escape area. Screen it off with some foliage, and add a few mats and cushions. Whenever you just need to stop for a minute, head out there and use it to get some relief. It could be a simple breathing exercise, or a regular yoga routine. The effect of being outdoors will amplify your positive mood.
- Start your day with a little outdoor time for meditation. Take your morning tea or coffee out on the balcony or onto the patio, and collect your thoughts before your day begins. Sometimes that goes a long way towards creating a really good day.
- Build in some outdoor time every weekend. Try to put a new outdoor destination on your calendar every week for awhile. You might find it to be habit forming.
- Bringing the green inside also works. Research in hospitals has shown that patients in rooms with plants often are less stressed and need less pain medication.
Whatever your outdoor time is right now, stop and think about how you could boost it a little, and then make it happen. The results may surprise you, and may lead to more health benefits.
Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.