5 Incredibly Healthy Things the Outdoors Does for You
By Sandy Schroeder
Most of us enjoy being outside, but we simply forget to be there when life picks up speed. If that sounds familiar, you might make a point of being outside after reviewing this list from Greatist.com.
If you have always gravitated to the outdoors like I have, this list will make a lot of sense to you. Throughout my summers as a kid, all of the best times were outdoors. Later, as an adult, I found myself heading outdoors whenever I needed a break. Weekend bike tours, campouts and nature walks became automatic stress releasers. Check the list and see if you agree.
Your creativity soars – Researchers studied a group that did a four-day hands-on nature trip without electronics. Their creativity increased by 50 percent. Researchers compared nature to a deep tissue massage for the brain that may have tired from constant electronic maneuvers.
Your internal clock gets reset – When we get too much artificial light from too many screens, the hormone melatonin, which shows up in response to darkness, is delayed. We all know how quickly one hour becomes two when we log on to Facebook.
To fix that, a weekend camping will reset your internal clock and increase your melatonin, allowing you to fall asleep and wake up earlier. Of course, if you start up with too many screens again, the dividends will vanish. All of that blissful sleep will be gone. To preserve the bliss, power down before darkness, and rest well.
Stress leaves – Two groups walked for 90 minutes, one in an urban area, one in a nature setting. The group walking in a rural area experienced a drop in depression; the ones walking in an urban area did not. This does not seem surprising when we consider how noisy and stark some urban areas can be. Contrast that with quiet, leafy green pathways that easily soothe the spirit.
Problem-solving improves – Focused attention and creative problem-solving are refreshed by the outdoors. When you step away from the constant electronic patterns, the brain has a chance to revive and check back in with stronger skills. You may have experienced this at work. When you are really stuck for a solution, stepping outside for a few quiet moments may provide a whole new approach or obvious answer.
Health responds to quiet – Studies show noise pollution increases the risk for stress, higher blood pressure and fatal heart attacks. Spending time in nature away from urban pollution provides a healthier setting.
When you consider the benefits of enhanced creativity, smarter problem-solving, greater stress reduction, better sleep, and better overall health, we should probably all be headed outdoors every chance we get.
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in League City, Tex.